Workplace accident claims frequently involve outside contractors, multiple parties, contracts and insurance coverage. Promptly recording and preserving evidence, including documents, is critical to defending these cases. Litigation in this area often turns on issues such as “supervision and control,” enforceability of indemnity and/or insuring agreements under New York’s statutory and common law, liability under New York State Labor Law, and the liability of an employer under New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law.
Workplace accidents place considerable strain on businesses and require vigilance on the part of management to ensure a reasonably safe working environment. Distinguishing between worker negligence and legitimate injury can be difficult, especially when accidents occur without witnesses.
Phillips Lytle has a long history of successfully defending manufacturing facilities and businesses against workplace accident claims. Our attorneys have obtained successful determinations on such accidents at every stage of litigation in the state and federal courts across New York State.
Examples of several noteworthy successes include:
- Representing major chemical manufacturers in workplace accident cases, including obtaining outright dismissals of such cases and obtaining defense and indemnification from contractors in instances where outright dismissal was not obtainable. See, e.g., Gascoyne v. Occidental Chem. Corp., 23 A.D.3d 1021 (4th Dep’t 2005) and Zito v. Occidental Chem. Corp., 259 A.D.2d 1015 (4th Dep’t 1999).
- Obtaining dismissal of New York State Labor Law claims against general contractors, owners and utilities on the basis of plaintiff’s own negligence, the absence of an actionable defect in equipment provided, the lack of an elevation-related differential and other defenses unique to New York State’s Labor Law. See, e.g., Brennan v. 3785 South Park, Inc., 242 A.D.2d 929 (4th Dep’t 1997); Burnett v. Waterford Custom Homes, Inc., 41 A.D.3d 1216 (4th Dep’t 2007) and Coombs v. Bianco, Sup. Ct., Steuben Cnty., Jan. 20, 2006, FurFure, J., index No. 88879/2006 (Summary judgment granted to defendant owners (Michael and Marcia Bianco) by Honorable Marianne Furfure, Steuben County, 2013).
- Representing numerous clients in connection with the most serious types of industrial accidents, including explosions, fires, accidents involving heavy machinery, and matters including allegations of grave injuries and/or wrongful death.