Worker Falls from Roof because He Was Not Provided a Safety Harness
Robert Bellinson recently obtained a $210,000 settlement for a roofer immediately before jury selection was scheduled to commence. The worker fell from the roof of a home in upstate New York when he lost his balance on rotten boards in the roof and fell to the ground. He was not provided with a safety harness that would have prevented his fall.
We commenced this action against the owner of this one family house. Under the Labor Law in the State of New York homeowners are generally exempt from liability unless it can be shown that they directed and controlled the work. Here, the homeowner made a motion to dismiss the case on this basis at the inception of the case, which we defeated. At the conclusion of the case, they brought the same motion, which we also defeated.
We were able to settle the case and overcome their defense by showing that the homeowner in this case also acted as the general contractor. She ran a side business out of her home and also did construction work throughout the community. We were able to gather this evidence by deposing their neighbors and interviewing other people that they had done work for. We also discovered bank accounts in the name of a corporate entity that they used, which they denied existed.
As a result of the accident, our client sustained a fractured wrist which required an open reduction and internal fixation. He made an excellent recovery and returned to work approximately three months after the accident.