On May 3, 2023, the Appellate Division, Second Department overruled a Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice who denied a severely injured plumber's motion for summary judgment on liability against the owner of a building and the general contractor for an unsafe construction site in Melville, New York. The plumbers employer had been retained by the general contractor to perform plumbing work on the project and another sub-contractor to perform drainage work and install manhole covers. The plaintiff-plumber fell through an unprotected manhole since none of the parties disputed that: "the covering was either missing or broken at the time of the accident." Construction workers can rely on the NYS Industrial Code which states in part that "every hazardous opening into which a person may step or fall shall be guarded by a substantial cover fastened in place or by a safety railing." 22 NYCRR 23-1.7 (b) (1) (i).
The plaintiff suffered injuries to his neck, elbow, shoulder and knee which will be the subject of a trial for the jury to determine whether plaintiff was also at fault and what sum of money is fair and reasonable to compensate the plaintiff. Bonkoski v Condos Brothers Construction Corp., 2023 N.Y. Slip Op. 02296