Associate Joseph Cianflone wins summary judgment for defendant property owner in a NYS Labor Law action

In Vasquez v. Psani Realty, LLC (Nassau County Index No. 13165/2011), the injured plaintiff was employed as a cable repair technician with Time Warner Cable. The defendant property owner owned a multi-story apartment building in Sunnyside, Queens. On February 22, 2011, the plaintiff was attempting to repair a junction box affixed to the back of the property owner's apartment building when he fell approximately 4 feet from a sectional ladder landing on a concrete patio. The 40-year-old plaintiff suffered a comminuted fracture of the dominant wrist, requiring open reduction, internal fixation of same. The plaintiff underwent a subsequent arthroscopic surgery, involving the insertion of several pins and k-wire. Mr. Cianflone successfully established that the property owner had no actual or constructive notice of a dangerous condition, contributing to the plaintiff's accident, dispensing with the plaintiff's negligence and Labor Law Section 200 claims against the property owner. Citing to the Court of Appeals recent holding in Abbatiello v. Lancaster Studio Associates, Mr. Cianflone also established that the plaintiff, working in his capacity as a cable repair technician, was not entitled to the protections afforded under New York State Labor Law Sections 240(1) and 241(6) because he was not requested by the defendant building owner to perform the subject work, the defendant had no knowledge that the plaintiff was even performing said work and that the plaintiff was on the property solely by virtue of the Public Service Law, without which the plaintiff would have been a trespasser on the property owner's land. Nor was the type of work the plaintiff was engaged in – maintenance of a malfunctioning cable box – covered by the Labor Law. Therefore, the court dismissed the plaintiff's Complaint in its entirety as against the defendant property owner.