New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

TRIANTAFILIDIS v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2005-030-900, Claim No. 108196, Motion No. M-69019


Claimant's motion for summary judgment in Labor Law section 241(1) claim is granted.

Case Information

KONSTANTINOS TRIANTAFILIDIS The court has removed the unnecessary and improper reference to the New York State Department of Transportation from the caption.
Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :
The court has removed the unnecessary and improper reference to the New York State Department of Transportation from the caption.
Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant's attorney:
Bisogno & Meyersonby Michael C. Meyerson, Esq.
Defendant's attorney:
no appearance
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
January 18, 2005
White Plains

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


The court read and considered the following papers on claimant's motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability: Notice of Motion, Affirmation, Affidavit and Exhibits. Claimant was injured on March 1, 2002 while he was working on a construction job in which his employer, Modern Continental Construction Company, was engaged in the construction of an overpass at the Long Island Expressway/Junction Boulevard intersection in Queens. Claimant states that, as he was standing on ground level and a co-worker was kneeling on a wooden safety rail on the overpass lowering a concrete form, the rail gave way, causing both the co-worker and the form to land on claimant from above. Subsequent to the completion of disclosure and the filing of a note of issue, claimant now moves for summary judgment on the issue of liability. Defendant does not oppose the motion.

Labor Law §240(1) requires that, in connection with certain enumerated types of work, including the highway bridge construction work at issue herein (see, Kalofonos v State of New York, 104 AD2d 75), owners and contractors "furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected for the performance of such labor, scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed." The statute:
applies to both "falling worker" and "falling object" cases. With respect to falling objects, Labor Law §240 (1) applies where the falling of an object is related to "a significant risk inherent in . . . the relative elevation . . . at which materials or loads must be positioned or secured" (Rocovich v Consolidated Edison Co., supra, 78 NY2d, at 514). Thus, for section 240 (1) to apply, a plaintiff must show more than simply that an object fell causing injury to a worker. A plaintiff must show that the object fell, while being hoisted or secured, because of the absence or inadequacy of a safety device of the kind enumerated in the statute (see, e.g., Pope v Supreme-K.R.W. Constr. Corp., 261 AD2d 523; Baker v Barron's Educ. Serv. Corp., 248 AD2d 655). (Narducci v Manhasset Bay Assocs., 96 NY2d 259, 267-268).
Here, claimant has shown that he was injured while a co-worker was lowering a concrete form from an elevated bridge. The facts before the court demonstrate that the co-worker, who was in effect one of the falling objects that struck the claimant, was not properly secured and that since the co-worker controlled the concrete form, the form itself was not properly secured. No issue of fact is evident, a conclusion with which the defendant apparently agrees since it does not oppose the application.

Accordingly, the motion is granted. The court will schedule a damages trial after consultation with counsel.

January 18, 2005
White Plains, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims