BM&S attorney Lisa Black secures complete dismissal in NY Labor Law Case


Black Marjieh & Sanford LLP (Westchester, NY)

In a recent case win for Black Marjieh & Sanford LLP, led by Lisa J. Black, the Court granted BM&S’ CPLR 3211 pre-answer motion to dismiss the third-party claims against their client in a NY Labor Law case concerning a purported height-related incident at a construction site. In Ramos, Edgar v. Great American Restoration, the third-party plaintiff sought, inter alia, contractual indemnification and common law contribution based on an alleged contract between the third-party plaintiff (a claimed owner of the premises) and BM&S’ contractor-client, who was also Plaintiff’s employer. The issues revolved around allegations of negligence (via a purported “grave injury” exception to Workers’ Compensation § 11), purported Labor Law violations for failure to provide safety devices, and contractual identification. The Court found that the indemnification agreement and insurance clause did not involve BM&S’ client, and the related contractual indemnification and breach of contract claim were accordingly dismissed. In reaching this conclusion, the Court rejected the third-party plaintiff’s argument that it should be allowed to develop additional parole evidence to correct fatal purported mistakes in the contract via the theory of equitable contract reformation. The Court also agreed with BM&S that dismissal was warranted for all common law claims, as there was no “grave injury” in the underlying complaint or third-party complaint. The case underscored the importance of clear contract specifications, third-party beneficiary intentions, and importance of language of the claims alleged. The decision dated August 24, 2023, granted dismissal of the third party complaint against BM&S’s client in its entirety.

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