In an action for personal injuries where plaintiff, an employee of our client’s subcontractor, claims to have slipped and fallen while pushing a heavy wooden crate containing windows down a wooden ramp leading from a hoist to the concrete slab of the floor due to a slippery, icy condition on the ramp, Jon Pisiewski, Esq., successfully defeated plaintiff’s summary judgment, which was denied by Justice Lyle E. Frank of Supreme Court, New York County. The plaintiff claimed that our clients were negligent in the maintenance of the premises and construction site and violated Labor Law § 200, and that they violated Labor Law § 241(6) by violating both Industrial Code §§ 23-1.7(d) and (f), necessitating summary judgment due to there being a slippery condition in a working area and a dangerous ramp.
Mr. Pisiewski argued that there was no notice to our clients of any allegedly slippery condition so as to give rise to negligence or a violation of Labor Law § 200, that plaintiff admitted he never saw the condition before the accident, used the ramp twice without issue, referred to the condition as “black ice,” did not report the accident for 6 days and variously reported just stepping and slipping, slipping on a wet ramp, and slipping on ice to different sources. In addition, weather history contradicted plaintiff’s testimony that it had snowed two days prior and indicated it had not snowed or rained for at least 4 days before the alleged accident. Based on this, Mr. Pisiewski argued that there were significant questions of fact and credibility regarding the circumstances of the accident and whether it occurred as claimed, or at all.
At oral argument, the Court Initially indicated that it was inclined to grant summary judgment on the Labor Law § 241(6) claim if there was a slippery condition that caused the accident, but ultimately agreed with Mr. Pisiewski that this was strictly a credibility issue because plaintiff was relying on his sole testimony, which was called into question by other evidence and his own contradictory statements. The Court also agreed that there were issues of fact regarding the existence of notice to our clients based on plaintiff’s contradictory statements and denied plaintiff’s motion in its entirety.