Download PDF

News & Events

New York Partner Prevails in Construction Site Accident Case

New York City partner Robert G. Macchia recently obtained summary judgment and successfully opposed Plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, which could have found our water utility client automatically liable if granted, in the Rockland County Supreme Court in New York.

This case involved a construction worker who tripped over a metal plate and fell into a trench located in the roadway. The trench was excavated in order to provide access to our client’s water main and connect water service to a condominium complex that was under construction. As a result of the trip and fall, Plaintiff allegedly sustained comminuted fractures of the tibia and fibula, and required multiple surgeries.

Plaintiff claimed that our client was liable for allegedly violating various New York State Labor Law statutes, in addition to common law negligence.

Our attorney Bob Macchia’s motion argued that while New York Labor Law imposes liability upon owners, their agents and contractors for falls at construction sites, our client did not fit into any of those categories. The motion further argued that neither our client, nor its independent contractor, exercised supervision, direction or control over the work being done at the site. Our attorney’s motion cited a line of cases holding that the subject Labor Law provisions “do not apply to ground-level tripping hazards even where a Plaintiff consequently falls some distance below ground.” Bob’s motion also argued that under New York common law, our client could not be held liable for alleged negligence of its independent contractor.

In May 2022, the Court agreed with our attorney and dismissed all claims asserted against our client.

Bob is a trial attorney with more than 30 years of experience and focuses his practice on cases involving construction site accidents, motor vehicle and trucking accidents, premises liability, product liability, and fire and flood damage. His cases involve personal injury, wrongful death and property damage claims. Bob’s clients include construction site contractors and subcontractors, large and small commercial and residential building owners, product designers and manufacturers, national home furnishing retailers, interstate trucking companies and utility providers.