An injured New York worker should have been granted summary judgment on his Labor Law claim because he proved that the scaffold he fell from lacked required safety equipment.
The New York Appellate Division, First Department ruled that a lower court erred by granting summary judgment to the general contractor and owner of the worksite.
Since the defendants offered no evidence that required further consideration in court proceedings, there was no reason not to grant summary judgment in favor of the worker, the appeals court said.
Scaffold didn’t have railings or other safety equipment
Juan Maillazhungo was a worker at a construction site operated by Pioneer General Construction Co. and owned by 94 E. 208 Street Partners LLC.
Maillazhungo was injured on the job when he fell from a scaffold. He filed a Labor Law claim, arguing that Pioneer and Street Partners were negligent for supplying a scaffold that lacked safety devices to keep workers from falling.
A lower court granted summary judgment to the defendants on Sept. 28, 2022 despite an undisputed affidavit Maillazhungo’s provided as evidence that the scaffold lacked guardrails and other safety equipment.
Worker’s evidence wasn’t contested
On appeal, Maillazhungo argued that the lower court erred in granting summary judgment to the defendants.
The appeals court agreed, finding that the defendants failed to show what further evidence was needed to make its case or what that evidence might reveal.
Instead, summary judgment was warranted in favor of Maillazhungo, whose affidavit evidence regarding the state of the scaffold on the day he fell wasn’t contested by the general contractor or the worksite owner.