Friday, November 30, 2012

Third Department Finds Question of Fact As To Whether Entity Is A "Contractor" Within the Meaning of the Labor Law

In Landon v. Duane Austin and Austin Contracting, Inc., Austin Contracting, Inc. (ACI) had moved for summary judgment and dismissal of plaintiff's Labor Law claims on the basis that ACI was not a "contractor" or "agent" within the meaning of the Labor Law. The trial court granted ACI's motion, but on appeal the Third Department reversed.  The Appellate Court found that questions of fact existed as to whether ACI was such a "contractor."  More specifically, the Court found that ACI may have employed the plaintiff on the day of the accident, had provided his equipment and tools and that the materials being installed by plaintiff at the time of the accident were supplied by ACI.  Moreover, all of the remaining workers on site that day were ACI employees.  As such, a question of fact existed as to whether ACI had authority to enforce applicable safety standards and to supervise and control plaintiff's work.

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