New York, NY
Associate Gabriel Darwick obtained summary judgment in a Kings County Labor Law suit. In Calciano v. 343 LLC, the plaintiff, an employee of our client, JM3 Construction, tripped and fell on a battery while attempting to walk down a staircase at a construction site. JM3, a carpentry subcontractor, was one of many contractors working at the building at the time of the accident.
The plaintiff sued the owner and general contractor, asserting violations of the Labor Law. The owner and general contractor, in turn, sued JM3, seeking contractual indemnification under the broad terms of the indemnity agreement in JM3’s contract with the general contractor.
We moved to dismiss the third-party complaint on the basis that the plaintiff’s accident did not “arise out of” JM3’s work. We argued that the general contractor could not trigger the indemnity provision because there was no causal relationship between JM3’s work and the accident. We pointed to the facts that: (a) JM3 was not working in the stairwell at the time of the accident, (b) the battery could have come from any one of the numerous subcontractors on the site, and (c) plaintiff, who was on the way to the bathroom at the time of the accident, was not performing any work when it occurred. The court agreed with our analysis and granted JM3 summary judgment.