The New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the trial court decision to dismiss the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey (the “Port Authority”) in a New York Labor Law action.
In 2007, while performing work at his employer’s storage facility, plaintiff Eduardo Maragliano was injured when a backhoe knocked over heavy material onto him. His employer had been hired to perform concrete and steel repair at the George Washington Bridge. On the day of the accident, plaintiff was drilling holes into steel beams for their eventual installation at the George Washington Bridge. The backhoe, which was in the process of hoisting one of the beams, knocked into other construction material. Plaintiff allegedly sustained fractures to his lumbar spine, a dislocation and fracture to his hip, fractures to his fibula and ankle, and other associated injuries. In a motion for summary judgment, Segal McCambridge successfully argued to the trial court that the Port Authority could not be liable under the New York Labor Law since it was not the owner and had no property interest in the location of the accident, and since the plaintiff was engaged in off-site fabrication activity rather than protected construction work.
In a decision issued on July 2, 2014, the Appellate Division, agreed with the trial court’s holdings and affirmed the dismissal of the Port Authority from the case. Specifically, the Appellate Division held that the plaintiff was not engaged in construction work within the meaning of Labor Law §240(1) and was not working in a construction area within the meaning of Labor Law §241(6).
Christian H. Gannon and Simon Lee represented The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Simon Lee argued both the trial court motion and the appeal.