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Work Accident Lawyer

Work Accident Lawyer

The best work accident lawyers know that their work on an individual cases can change the law going forward. One of The Platta Law Firm, PLLC’s signature cases, Wilinski v. 334 East 92nd Housing Development Fund Corp., decided by New York’s highest court, powerfully improved the protections construction workers have under the law.  Every day, plaintiff construction workers survive defendants’ summary judgment motions (which they previously would have lost) because of the expansion of Labor Law §240 under Wilinski. 

A Second Department Case

Work accident lawyers must be abreast of any changes in the law to best serve their clients. In one recent Second Department case, an employee of a superstructure contractor sustained an injury while he was stripping wooden forms. The forms served as frames for concrete. The poured concrete formed the reinforced concrete columns of a building under construction.  Plaintiff testified the incident occurred after he piled a piece of wooden form from the concrete column and placed it on the floor.  As he stood up, a separate piece of the form situated above the piece he just removed suddenly fell off the column, striking him in the face.

The Court of Appeals has held the purpose of Labor Law §240 is to protect against such specific gravity-related accidents as falling from a height. The law also applies to accidents involving inadequately secured falling objects. The Wilinski decision strengthened this portion of the law. It is used by knowledgeable work accident lawyers to aid their clients. The Court applied this principle (citing Wilinski) to the case with the superstructure contractor. The defendants could not prove that they properly secured the form that fell and struck the plaintiff worker. Thus, they could not prove that they did not violate Labor Law §240.

A First Department Case

In a recent case in the First Department, an electrician was working at a job site where the general contractor was gutting and remodeling a commercial space. The electrician sustained an injury when struck in the hand by a piece of galvanized steel conduit pipe. At the time of the accident, the electrician attempted to move a pool box. The box connected to a section of conduit piping running from the floor to the ceiling. It also connected to a support system known as Kindorf supports. After cutting the conduit to remove the pencil box, plaintiff kneeled down to drill into the floor. He did this in order to reposition the conduit and the pencil box. At this point a piece of conduit came loose and struck him.

The electrician’s work accident lawyer argued that he requested, but defendants failed to provide him, with a set screw coupling to secure the conduit pipe to the ceiling. The defendants failed to do so caused his injuries.  The electrician argued that defendants’ failure to provide the coupling meant that the conduit was not “secured for the undertaking.”  The defendants argued that they did not need to provide the coupling the electrician requested. They met their duty by providing Kindorf supports.  Specifically, because of the Wilinski decision (which the Court cited directly), the Court denied the motion. They held questions of fact excited as to whether the defendants properly secured the conduit for the electrician’s work.

Work Accident Lawyers Who Get Results

It should be noted just how important defeating a defendant’s motion for summary judgment is.  When a defendant succeeds on a motion for summary judgment, a plaintiff’s claim is dismissed against that defendant.  By defeating a motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff can still settle the case or take the case to trial. Either way, they can recover a monetary award.  So cases, like Wilinski, which the work accident lawyers at The Platta Law Firm, PLLC, fought tooth and nail, directly helps ensure that plaintiff construction worker’s recover on their cases.

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