Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summary judgment in a Labor Law action, attorneys' fees, and amending a bill of particulars.

Practice point:  The court granted summary judgment dismissing plaintiff's § 241(6) claim, as amended. Plaintiff's testimony showed that the rebar that allegedly caused him to fall was in the process of being installed and thus integral to the ongoing work, defeating his claim of a violation of 12 NYCRR 23-1.7(e)(2). Moreover, given plaintiff's vague and inconsistent testimony concerning the condition of the stacked rebar, his claim that the accident was caused by the rebar being stored in an unstable manner in violation of 12 NYCRR 23-2.1(a)(1) was based on mere speculation.

Defendants are entitled to the costs and attorneys' fees incurred by them in defense of this action. The contract clauses at issue provide for indemnification, including costs and fees arising from "any act or omission," and do not require proof of negligence to be enforced.  In any event, the record does not contain any evidence that defendants were negligent.

Student note:  The court permitted plaintiff to amend the bill of particulars, since no prejudice accrued from plaintiff's late invocation of violations of 12 NYCRR 23-1.7(e)(2) and 23-2.1(a)(1), and the claims entailed no new factual allegations or theories of liability.

Case: Flynn v. 835 6th Ave. Master L.P., NY Slip Op 04889 (1st Dept. 2013).

Here is the decision.

Friday's issue: Speed bumps, and failure to disclose experts.