Slip and Fall Hospital Worker Accident Victim Beats Defense Summary Judgment Motion of Hospital Cleaning Company

Court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York

Case: Sandra Lotz v. Aramark Services, Inc.

Date: Aug. 15, 2012

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Queens; Queens injury attorney)

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Facts: While working in a Staten Island Hospital, this accident victim slipped and fell on cleaning fluid spilled on the floor. The defendant held the cleaning contract with the hospital. The accident victim couldn't sue the hospital itself because, as her employer, it is exempt from a direct lawsuit by the plaintiff, its employee, by reason of New York Worker's Compensation Law. Defendant moves for summary judgment.

Defendant held the cleaning contract for the hospital, which means that it can only be sued under certain, limited circumstances. One basis is if the contract displaces the property owner's obligation for safety. Plaintiff claimed that this was so, but didn't show it in her papers.

However, plaintiff did make a case that the cleaning company's employees created a dangerous condition. The cleaning company argued that its workers were "special employees" of the hospital. This would make them, essentially, co-employees of the plaintiff who would then be barred by the Worker's Compensation Law from suing the cleaning company;

Held: The cleaning company didn't prove that its workers were special employees of the hospital so it is denied summary judgment and the accident victim's case can proceed.

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