By Edward J. O’Gorman and Thomas M. Bona.
Court: Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County
Judge: The Honorable Francis A. Kahn III
Case Type: Lead Paint Case
Caption: Velimir Zic et al. v. The City of New York et al.
Index No.: 159201/2012
Decision Date: January 22, 2021
Decision: Summary Judgment
Clients in the construction industry know that it can take years to resolve when sued on a construction case. With multiple parties involved in most construction cases, there are many reasons why a construction case proceeds along a trickling path. At PMT, one of the hallmarks of our representation is to find a way to free our clients from years of costly protracted litigation. Because we always have our clients’ best interest at heart, we immediately look to develop evidence that will allow us at the earliest point possible to get our client dismissed from the case.
A recent case in which we won summary judgment shows how we do this for our clients. In Zic v. The City of New York et al., the plaintiff claimed that he developed lung cancer through his work as a lead paint abatement worker/painter while working at the US Courthouse in Manhattan. Our client, Total Safety, was the site safety manager for the project. We moved for summary judgment, arguing that our client’s role was to observe and make recommendations. Our employee testified that we lacked general authority to stop work at the site, we were not responsible for the safety of lead abatement workers, did not oversee their work, and were not responsible for monitoring air quality at the premises. The court granted our motion finding that we offered evidence that Total Safety did not create nor was it aware of the plaintiff’s alleged unsafe conditions. The court agreed that we lacked the authority to control the details of the plaintiff’s work and were not responsible for control over the worksite in general. The court rejected the argument that discovery was needed to oppose our motion.
Making a motion for summary judgment while discovery was still ongoing, we avoided claims of further continuing injuries and further depositions of the plaintiff, which will cause discovery to go on for at least another year. Given court delays due to Covid, this case could have continued for another three years. Since the plaintiff’s demand was $4.2 million, this case will not settle anytime soon. The summary judgment freed our client from years of delays, the uncertainty of protracted litigation, and the costs associated with the litigation by our aggressive defense.
Let us show you how we can do that for you.
Should you have any questions, please call our office at (914) 703-6300 or contact:
Jeffrey T. Miller, Executive Partner
Thomas M. Bona, Partner