Summary Judgment Denied to Defendant Who Failed to Prove Lack of Notice Under NY Labor Law

In Colon v. Bet Torah, Inc., the plaintiff was an employee of a subcontractor performing construction work on the defendant’s premises. The plaintiff was purportedly injured when the cover of a grease pit upon which he was walking became dislodged, causing him to fall into the pit. His complaint included allegations of common law negligence and a violation of Labor Law § 200, among others.

The defendant moved for summary judgment as to the plaintiff’s common law negligence and Labor Law § 200 claims. The trial court denied the defendant’s motion. The defendant appealed.

The Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed. Specifically, the Court found that the defendant had failed to prove that it lacked constructive notice of the defect in the grease pit cover. In this regard, the court noted that the defendant failed submit any evidence regarding when it had last inspected the grease pit cover and also failed to submit any evidence proving that a reasonable inspection would not have revealed a defect in the grease pit cover. As such, the court ruled that the defendant failed to meet its burden in dismissing plaintiff’s common law negligence and Labor Law § 200 claims.

Thanks to Brad Thelander for his contribution to this post.