Coombes v. Shawmut Design & Construction and Apple, Inc. v. Rockmor Electric.

The plaintiff contends that he was injured when he was attempting to exit a room located within the Apple, Inc. store under construction at Grand Central Terminal on October 26, 2011. Plaintiff was an electrician employed by our client Rockmor Electric and was pulling wire from a power terminal located within a room in the space to other locations throughout the store. In order to do his job, plaintiff was required to traverse a 3 foot tall “platform” located between the panel plaintiff was pulling wire from and the exit to the room which he was able to do several times without incident. During his last trip, plaintiff testified that he felt something move under his foot, and believes that it was one of the metal studs which caused him to lose his balance and fall, landing on his right elbow. As a result, plaintiff alleged significant and permanent injuries which resulted in his inability to continue working as an electrician.

In support of our motion for summary judgment, we argued that plaintiff’s work was not directed, controlled or supervised by either Shawmut Design or Apple. Further, plaintiff’s accident is not the type involving an “exceptionally dangerous condition” or “significant risk” to warrant protection under Labor Law §240(1). Furthermore, plaintiff himself is unsure as to what causes his accident, whether it was simply losing his balance as he descended the platform, or if “debris” or construction materials that were integral to the ongoing work were to blame. In addition, plaintiffs’ counsel failed to cite sections of the Industrial Code of the State of New York that would be applicable to this case or sufficient to predicate liability upon under Labor Law §241(6). Additionally, we aruged that the other defendants’ claims for common law and contractual indemnification as well as for failure to procure insurance must be dismissed as a matter of law.

Kenneth Gerard argued the motions before Judge James d’Auguste who denied plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and granted our motion for summary judgment dismissing Labor Law sections 240(1) and 241(6) causes of action.