A worker was injured when he fell through a skylight opening in a roof on which he was working.  He alleged common-law negligence and violation of the New York Scaffolding Act against the construction manager (CM) and project owner.  Appellate court held, on the issue of violation of the labor law, CM was a “contractor” under the labor law where it had power to enforce safety standards and choose contractors to perform the work.  Additionally, the CM may be vicariously liable as an agent of the property owner where it was the manager with ability to control the work.   Summary judgment could not be granted to the plaintiff, however, because the Court found CM raised a triable fact whether it lacked authority to supervise and control the work.

Summary judgment was granted, however, against the project owner failing to provide adequate fall protection as required by the labor law, and that is what caused the injury.  On the issue of common-law negligence, however, the court held CM established it didn’t exercise supervisory control over the manner or method of plaintiff’s work that caused the injury and it was therefore entitled to summary judgment on that count of the complaint.  Tansley v. LCO Building LLL and Cityview Construction Management, LLC, 201 A.D.3d 1323 (N.Y. 2022).


About the author: Article written by J. Kent Holland, Jr., a construction lawyer located in Tysons Corner, Virginia, with a national practice (formerly with Wickwire Gavin, P.C. and now with ConstructionRisk Counsel, PLLC) representing design professionals, contractors and project owners.  He is founder and president of a consulting firm, ConstructionRisk, LLC, providing consulting services to owners, design professionals, contractors and attorneys on construction projects.  He is publisher of ConstructionRisk Report and may be reached at Kent@ConstructionRisk.com or by calling 703-623-1932.  This article is published in ConstructionRisk Report, Vol. 24, No. 5 (June 2022).

Copyright 2022, ConstructionRisk, LLC