Construction Personal Injury

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New York Appellate Court Finds New York Labor Law 240(1) Does Not Apply to Plaintiff’s Fall Because the Opening at Issue Was Not...

In Vitale v. Astoria Energy II, LLC, 2016 N.Y.App.Div LEXIS 2867 (2nd Dep’t April 20, 2016), Plaintiff was working as a surveyor at a construction site, verifying the accuracy of the location of approximately 200 anchor...more

AFL-CIO Calls Attention to On-the-Job Deaths in Ceremony at State House

Michael Davidson was seeing patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital when he stepped away to talk with the son of a deceased woman he had treated and the son shot him. Lawrence O’Leary was on a parking garage under...more

Nuisance Claim Against Architect Dismissed

“Use the right tool for the job” is also a good bit of advice in litigation, as underscored by a recent decision out of the Connecticut Appellate Court. The case is Fisk v. Redding, AC 37537 (April 19, 2016)....more

Electrical contractor fined $537,500 after death of resident from faulty electrical work

An electrical contractor has been hit with a huge fine after its faulty electrical work led to a resident’s death. The contractor had installed an in-floor heating system in the bathroom of a home. The resident, an...more

Maryland Appellate Court Holds Economic Loss Doctrine Bars Contractor’s Tort Claims Against Government’s Design Professional on...

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc. v. Rummel Klepper & Kahl, LLP, 226 Md. App. 420, 130 A.3d 1024, 2016 Md. App. LEXIS 3 ( Md. Ct. Spec. App. Jan. 28, 2016) The City of Baltimore retained a design professional, Rummel...more

Torts – Negligence Per Se and Causation/CCP 998 Offers

Anthony Toste v. CalPortland Construction et al. - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (March 2, 2016) - In many tort actions, plaintiff will argue that the defendant violated some statute or ordinance and...more

New York’s First Department Holds That Fall Caused By a Shock Constitutes a Violation of Labor Law §240(1)

In Nazario v 222 Broadway, LLC, LEXIS 246 (1st Dep’t Jan. 14, 2016). the Appellate Division, First Department held that the motion court erred in dismissing plaintiff’s claim for violation of New York State Labor Law...more

Be Careful Who You Hire: Unlicensed Contractors are Employees of the Hirer

In Randall Blackwell v. Ray Vasilas, (D067239, Superior Court No. 37-2013-00064563-CU-PO-CTL) the Fourth Appellate District held the Privette Doctrine does not protect a hirer from liability to an independent contractor’s...more

California Supreme Court Raises the Bar on Dangerous Conditions on Public Property Claims

Earlier we wrote about the affirmative defense of “design immunity” which can be used by public entities to shield themselves from personal injury claims dangerous conditions on public property. Under the design immunity...more

New York Court Holds Insurer Timely Disclaimed Coverage on Basis of Classification Limitation

In its recent decision in Black Bull Contr., LLC v Indian Harbor Ins. Co., 2016 NY Slip Op 00002 (1st Dep’t Jan. 5, 2016), the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, First Department, had occasion to consider whether...more

Berkeley Balcony Collapse Leads To Calls For More Scrutiny of The Construction Industry

On June 16, 2015 six students died and seven others were seriously injured when the balcony on which they were standing collapsed. The group was celebrating a 21st birthday party at an apartment located in the “Library...more

SB 800 – Can Builders Enforce It, Or Not?

15 years ago, the California Supreme Court held in Aas v. Superior Court, 24 Cal.4th 627 (2000), that homeowners could not recover for construction defects unless the defects caused consequential damages to the building. In...more

Negligence – Premises Liability – Property Owner Not Liable For Painter’s Accident – No Evidence of Negligence by the Property...

Tomas Vebr v. Gary A. Culp et al. - Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District (October 28, 2015) - Workers’ compensation insurance is required for issuance of a contractor’s license in California pursuant to...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: Released after 11:30 a.m. AC36320 - Valencis v. Nyberg - This decision upheld the granting of a PJR for ~ $1.5 million in favor of the plaintiff property owner when the...more

Denver City Council Passes Construction Defect Litigation Reform Ordinance

After successive failures to pass similar legislation at the state level, the Denver City Council is following Lakewood and other municipalities to pass reforms to curb construction defect litigation. Designed to address...more

Federal Court in Pennsylvania Holds Design Professionals’ Negligence Claim Against Pump Supplier Barred By Economic Loss Rule

Elliot-Lewis Corp. v. Skanska USA Building, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98405 (E.D. Pa. July 27, 2015) - This dispute arises out of a major renovation and expansion of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia (the...more

Labor Code § 2708 Presumption of Employer Negligence is Not Applicable Against Homeowners Who Hired Unlicensed Painting Company

In Vebr v. Culp (Filed 10/28/2015, No. G050730), the Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of homeowners, where an employee of an unlicensed painting company was injured...more

Would OSHA “Punt” on Inspecting an NFL Team?

The tragedy this August that claimed the life of one worker and injured another during construction of the new $1.1B Minnesota Vikings football stadium reminded us that serious accidents can happen at any site no matter the...more

The Buck Stops Over There: Have Indemnitors Become the Insurers of First and Last Resort?

Insurance and indemnity are the primary risk management strategies on construction projects. Insurance, such as commercial general liability insurance, insures against third party claims for bodily injury and property damage,...more

Homebuilders Welcome Recent Court Decisions

Arizona homebuilders will welcome with open arms two recent legal rulings of substantial impact to their industry. In the first decision, on July 28, 2015, in Sullivan v. Pulte Home Corp., No. 1 CA-CV 14-0199, the Arizona...more

Reports of the Death of SB800 are Greatly Exaggerated – The Court of Appeal Revives Mandatory SB800 Procedures

In a 20 page opinion, the Court of Appeal for the Fifth District repudiated the holding of Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. v. Brookfield Crystal Cove, LLC (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 98 (“Liberty Mutual”), and held that plaintiffs in...more

Summary of California Appellate Decisions -August 2015

Insurance; Duty To Defend; Insurance Coverage; Intentional Acts; Sexual Misconduct - Gonzalez v. Fire Insurance Exchange (2015) 234 Cal.App.4th 1220, 184 Cal.Rptr.3d 394 (WL 960927) - Facts: This is an...more

California Court of Appeals Holds Liability Insurer May Obtain Equitable Subrogation Against its Insured’s Contractual Indemnitor...

In Valley Crest Landscape, Inc. v. Mission Pools of Escondido, Inc., 238 Cal.App.4th 468 (2015), the California Court of Appeals held that an insurer could successfully recover on a claim for equitable subrogation against the...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Holds That Insured May Settle Tort Claim Without Insurer Consent Under “Fair and Reasonable” Standard

In Babcock & Wilcox Co. v. American Nuclear Insurers, a divided Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, deciding an issue of first impression under Pennsylvania law, recently held that when an insurer defends its insured subject to a...more

Duty to Cooperate Ruling Narrows Insurers’ Ability to Foreclose Coverage for Settled Class Action Claims

Insurance policies typically include a cooperation clause, which requires the insured to cooperate with the insurer in the defense of a covered claim. Insurers routinely use this clause as a sword against their insureds by...more

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