Legal Question in Personal Injury in New York

I'd like to know if I have a personal injury case against a contractor/landlord who were working in my apartment trying to contain a leak. After the leak I climbed on my ladder to check out some of my books adn other items for damage. The ladder was not stable as there was plaster rubble under the ladder made by the contractor/landlord from when they made holes in my ceiling in an attempt to dry up the water and moisture in the room. The ladder shifted and I fell on my back and got hurt. I am currently under treatment of a medical doctor and physical therapist for my injuries. Is there a case I can pursue against the landlord or his contractor?

Asked on 5/23/11, 3:31 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

David Slater David P. Slater, Esq.

Probably, but there will be a question of your comparative fault for not looking.

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Answered on 5/23/11, 3:35 pm
Stuart DiMartini Law Offices of Stuart DiMartini

The contractor was acting as an agent for the landlord and as such the landlord may be found vicariously liable for the negligent acts of the contractor. The contractor, if found to be an independent contractor, will have no privity with you and a claim could not be maintained against the contractor. The landlord will have a separate claim of indemnification against the contractor if the landlord is found responsible for the accident.

The question will be whether it was negligent to leave the plaster rubble on the floor and, if so, the extent of your comparative fault for placing the ladder upon the plaster.

Best wishes,

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Answered on 5/23/11, 4:50 pm

A jury may find significant contributory negligence on your part for not using reasonable precautionary measures before climbing the ladder.

Curiously, we are all miffed about contractors or repair people not being diligent or careful in cleaning up after themselves when the job is done. Premised on the foregoing, you may get some compassion from a jury of your peers. You may contact me only if you have signifcant and debilitating injuries requiring protacted and long term medical care.

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Answered on 5/23/11, 6:11 pm
Michael E. Zuller Zuller Law Offices

Tough case; It was your ladder, which you positioned on the floor. A defendant's lawyer will have the jury focusing on why you did not clear away a section of the floor for the ladder to be securely set on. Best, M. E. Zuller

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Answered on 5/24/11, 6:20 am

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