John A. DeGasperis, Esq.

John A. DeGasperis Settles Another Labor Law Case

Get Your Free Case Evaluation

John A. DeGasperis recently obtained a $250,000 settlement for a Basch and Keegan client who
was seriously injured in a construction accident. Our client, a 24-year-old male, sustained a
work-related injury on a construction site in Poughkeepsie. The construction site involved the
erection of a large, multi-unit residential apartment complex now known as the Water Club.

Our client was a general laborer who performed non-skilled tasks such as sweeping, cleaning,
digging, and painting.

The accident occurred when a wooden shipping crate fell off a forklift during transport. The crate had been manufactured by a Canadian glass company and delivered to the construction site by a local glass distributor, which had been hired by the project developer to source all glass for the project. The crate was elevated on the forklift—but not secured—when it fell over and crushed our client who was standing below the crates. Our client suffered a femur fracture and needed emergency surgery. Our client needed physical therapy after surgery. Of course, he was disabled for a time and missed time from work.

After the accident, our client filed suit to recover damages for his bodily injuries, conscious pain and
suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. John filed suit with causes of action sounding in general
negligence, strict products liability, and violations of New York Labor Law §§ 200, 240(1), and 241(6). There were two substantial factors that caused the accident. First, the Canadian glass manufacturer designed a wood shipping crate that had to be hoisted from above with the use of lifting straps that got secured to the underside of the crate. The crate was not supposed to be hoisted or lifted from the bottom because it was too narrow and subject to fall. Unfortunately for our client, the Canadian glass manufacturer failed to warn shippers and handlers of the lifting requirements. The glass company’s failure to warn caused our client to use the shipping crate in an unsafe manner.

The second substantial factor that caused our client’s accident centers on the City of Poughkeepsie IDA, which owned the property. John filed suit against the City of Poughkeepsie IDA for failing to provide our client with adequate protection from elevation-related risks. John argued that owners of commercial property owe a duty to provide construction workers with a safe place to work. The failure on the part of the City of Poughkeepsie IDA to provide adequate safety devices constituted a violation of New York’s Labor Law § 240(1).

John was able to prove that The City of Poughkeepsie IDA’s lease arrangement with the developer did not alter the City of Poughkeepsie IDA’s nondelegable duty under the Labor Law. With his expertise and knowledge of the law, John obtained a six-figure settlement for the injured client. This significant settled benefits his life.