Issue Of Fact As To Water-Spraying Saw In Slip-And-Fall Labor Law Case

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

Case: Cappabianca v. Skanska USA Building Inc.

Date: Aug. 14, 2012

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



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Facts: On July 29, 2005 this accident victim was at work constructing a school. He was using a electric saw to cut bricks, while standing on a wooden palate. The saw sprayed water; his foot got stuck on the pallet. He slipped and fell off the platform and hurt his knee.

He sues everyone he can think of, including the owner (City of New York) and general contractor, alleging N.Y.S. Labor Law and other violations and various acts of negligence.

None of the defendants managed the plaintiff's work or had notice of any defective condition of the saw or pallet. His employer provided the tools for his job.

Held: The accident occurred due to how the plaintiff was doing his work. The pallet was not high enough off the floor to trigger protection of the Labor Law. Plaintiff was allegedly given a defective saw by is employer, who had him stand on a slippery, unsafe pallet.

There=s an issue of fact was to whether the saw was broken or always sprayed water onto the floor -- foreign substances on floors have to be removed or covered.