Partner Joseph Orlando wins Summary Judgment

Partner Joseph Orlando wins summary judgment dismissal of a plaintiff’s Complaint in a construction accident case venued in Bronx County Supreme Court.  In Padilla v. Touro College, the 26 year old plaintiff was a security system installer as part of the renovation of Touro College located in Brooklyn, NY.  He claimed that a stack of 5 – 8 sheets of sheetrock, 4 ft. x 8 ft in size, leaning up against a hallway wall with their 8-foot length against the floor fell over onto him crushing his right arm when he went to move the stack in order to get behind it to perform his work. Plaintiff asserted claims of negligence and violations of Labor Law §§200, 240 and 241(6) against defendant Touro College, the owner of the premises. Judge Adrian Armstrong granted Mr. Orlando’s motion for summary judgment dismissal of plaintiff’s Complaint against Touro College.  The judge dismissed the Labor 240 claim based on the lack of a height differential between the plaintiff and the stack of sheetrock as the stack was only 4 feet in height.  The judge dismissed the Labor Law 241(6) claim as plaintiff’s cited Industrial Code sections were determined to be either inapplicable or insufficient to sustain a 241(6) claim.  As for the negligence and the Labor Law 200 claims, the judge concluded that the stack of sheetrock was not a ‘dangerous condition’ as it did not block the hallway and did not pose a danger until the plaintiff attempted to move it.  The judge also held that the accident arose from the ‘manner and method’ of the work and, since Touro College did not direct, control or supervise the plaintiff’s work activities, the judge dismissed the negligence and Labor Law 200 claims against Touro College.