- """The problem that I have with this case is that because the plaintiff took
upon himself to construct the scaffolding himself, and he built it
incorrectly, the defendants get off scott free.
It does not seem fair that the defendants will be rewarded for not doing
their job (providing proper and safe equipment)."""
MIKE: Though I am not sure who all the defendants are, I assume they will be
at least the carpentry company Vincent worked for, the GC who hired the
carpentry company, and the owner who hired the GC, I?do not?have a problem at all
with Vincent collecting money for his work related injury.?
Normally employee injuries are covered by worker's compensation and the
injured employee is entitled to benefits regardless of his culpability.? There are
of course?some exceptions such as being under the influence of alcohol?or
other dangerous drugs at the time of the injury.??That being stipulated, I think
it is the management's responsibility, and I think legal precedence supports me
in this view,?to insure a safe workplace, not the employee's.? For instance
if a?a wait staff spills a drink and another?staff then slips resulting in
injury even though the injured staff knew it was dangerous to walk through spills,
the injury would be covered by worker's compensation.? If an electrician on a
construction site turned a circuit breaker off to work on a piece of
equipment and neglected to lock and tag the breaker and was injured because someone
else turned it back on, the electrician would still be entitled to worker's
I worked for a number of years as a construction manager/owner's
representative?for a restaurant franchise.? We required the GC to carry worker's
compensation insurance and other insurances on all his subcontractors.? It was written
so that it was the GC's responsibility.? The usual way it was handled was that
as a requirement of employment each subcontractor?submitted proof of various
insurances?at the contractually required levels.? If a subcontractor was
hiring other contractors to assist him, the subcontractor had to supply to the GC
proof of insurance from the new subs.? The purpose, of course, was to avoid
this type of suit, or to have insurance companies subrogate it.? BTW the
franchise I worked for also carried indemnity insurance in case something slipped
through the cracks.?
It's unfortunate that Vincent did not have a lawyer before?asserting his
responsibility but I do not hold that against him,? any more than I would hold it
against a drunk who is assaulted and injured by some lowlife after leaving a
bar.? It is management's responsibility to maintain a safe work place.? On
construction sites it is the GC's responsibility to?insure that the workplace is
being constructed in a safe manner.? that is one of the purposes of having a
superintendent on site.
I suspect if you dig a little deeper you will find that the GC's
superintendent?and the carpentry company were in some type of disagreement about who was
going to pay for the needed scaffolding which caused the delay.??On projects I
oversaw, normally the GC would supply the scaffolding?and have it as a line
item in his bid for the project or he would supply the scaffolding and then
prorate the charges among the subs who needed to use it, because on?most
construction projects quite a few different subs will?use the scaffolding such as
masons, carpenters, painters, and roofers to name four off the top of my head.?
In any case, I would?side with Vincent.
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