An Accident occurred during painting job at a construction site in lower Manhattan. A painter slipped and fall on plastic and sustained injuries. Prior to the accident, the owner of the building hired a general contractor, who in turn hired the painter’s employer to perform painting work on the walls and ceiling around an escalator that connected the second and third floor of the building.
At the time this accident and painting, heavy duty plastic had been around the escalator to protect it from paint during work. Before the accident, the painter complained about the presence of the plastic. His foreman told him not to complain. Specifically, the painter told the foreman that there was no way that they could work on this plastic. The foreman told the painter that he had to do it. The painter relented and set up to work in the middle of the escalator. While working, he slipped on the plastic and fell. He fell backward onto the escalator and a three-gallon paint bucket that was behind him, causing him to sustain serious injuries.
The worker said that the heavy-duty plastic was not laid down by his employer. Instead, they had drop cloths at the job site that they would have used. The worker said the general contractor placed the plastic there. The general contractor’s accident report stated that the painter’s employer had laid down the plastic. It also stated that all protection on the floor was required to be secured and properly installed.
What Happened Next After An Accident Painting?
The painter filed a lawsuit against the building owners and general contractor. Following discovery, he moved for summary judgment. This means he asked the judge to review the facts of the case. The judge was then to decide that the building owner and the contractors (the defendants) were responsible for the painter’s accident. The painter argued that the defendants failed to ensure that his work area was free from slipping hazards. The defendants argued that they were not responsible because the painter slipped on a plastic cover placed there purposefully. It was thus necessary for the work.
The judge rejected the defendants’ argument. The judge understood that the painter was required to walk along the escalator to reach the area where he was to work. He decided that the defendants were to blame for the accident even though the plastic was placed there purposefully. Drop cloths – which were on site and which are less slippery than plastic – could have been used instead. In fact, the general contractor’s superintendent testified that he believed the plastic covering the escalator was the wrong type of protection.
Accordingly, the Court granted the painter’s motion for summary judgment. They remanded the case for a trial on the issue of damages only. If you are involved in an accident during painting job, contact The Platta Law Firm, PLLC, and speak to our knowledgeable attorneys.