Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A worker's fall from a ladder, and a motion to compel discovery of plaintiff's medical records.

Practice point:  The court granted plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment as to liability on his Labor Law § 240(1) claim, as there was uncontradicted deposition testimony that the unsecured extended ladder upon which plaintiff was working slipped and fell out from underneath him. Plaintiff's actions were not the sole proximate cause of the accident, since the deposition testimony established that his coworker, unknown to plaintiff and in departure from their normal procedure, stopped footing the base of the ladder while plaintiff was still climbing it, thereby allowing it to slip out from underneath plaintiff.
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The court denied defendants' motion to compel plaintiff's authorizations allowing defendants to obtain all medical records pertaining to his psychological condition and treatment, as plaintiff did not seek to recover damages for emotional or psychological injury, or aggravation of a preexisting emotional or mental condition  Plaintiff's bill of particulars alleged damages for specific physical injuries in his lower back. His general allegations of "anxiety and mental anguish" resulting from his back injuries did not place his entire mental health history into contention.

Student note:  As the court granted plaintiff partial summary judgment on his Labor Law § 240(1) claim, it was not necessary for the court to address his Labor Law § 241(6) claim.

Case:  Serra v. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., NY Slip Op 02881 (1st Dept. 2014)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue: A fall on a wet locker room floor.