A Lieutenant assigned to Brooklyn North was in his command when he witnessed construction scaffolding collapse from a building across the street from the precinct. The Lieutenant and an Officer went to the exterior of the building in an effort to secure the wind blown scaffolding. While he was removing a large piece of plywood, several additional pieces of scaffold fell on the plywood the Lieutenant was carrying causing the Lieutenant’s shoulders to hyperextend. Subsequent testing revealed positive findings on both of the Lieutenant’s shoulders and the Lieutenant underwent arthroscopic surgery to his right shoulder.

The Lieutenant was awarded a ¾ line-of-disability pension based upon the line-of-duty although the Lieutenant had prior surgery to both his shoulders. DCD, on behalf of the Lieutenant sued the building owner and the scaffolding company pursuant to GML §205-e, alleging the work performed by the scaffolding company on behalf of the building owner was negligent and in violation of the New York City Administrative Code. The building owner had been previously cited for a violation pertaining to the façade.

The scaffold company was cited for a violation of the building code as a result of this incident. The insurance company for the building owner filed a summary judgment motion asking that the claim brought against them be dismissed for the falling scaffold material. Joseph L. Decolator, on behalf of the Lieutenant fought vigorously to defend the Lieutenant’s interests arguing that the building owner who hired the scaffold company possessed a non-delegable duty to any party who may have been injured by the negligent acts of the scaffold company. Mr. Decolator’s brief in opposition to the defendant’s motion forced the defendant’s to mediate the lawsuit. Dominic DiPrisco, in a 5 hour Mediation convinced the two defendants to settle the claims for $540,000.




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