While checking on the construction of his new house, a viewer was walking over a board the contractors had set up to get to the house. The board had snapped underneath him, causing him to fall and break his leg. What can he do?
Dave Kuharchik: Time now for “The Law & You” and we have a construction-related question today. Attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli are here in the virtual law center. Guys, thanks for being here.
Ed Ciarimboli: We’ve gone through lots of construction.
Greg Fellerman: We got some around.
Ed: We’re ready for this question.
Dave: You know, I’ve gone through this myself so I’m looking forward to seeing the answer. So, here’s the question. Larry from Montoursville says, “I’m building a new house. I went to check on the construction. I was walking over a board into the house the contractors set up. The board snapped and I broke my leg.” What can Larry do?
Ed: Yeah, so Larry, you could actually sue the general contractor. So, the general contractor, in doing that job, if they’re going to be setting up some type of boards or scaffolding or something of that nature that you’re the owner of the home, that’s going to have to be safe. The job site has to be safe. It has to be safe for the employees and it also has to be safe for anybody who may be coming there. It’s certainly foreseeable that you, as the owner of the home, would be stopping by to check on the progress that is being made. So if the owner of the construction company, if his employees didn’t set that up in a safe matter, you may have a claim against them.
Greg: And that’s the key, the reasonable foreseeability of someone is coming onto this board and breaking. So it’s not unreasonable to think that hey, somebody is walking into that house. And again, he took on the duty by setting up this walkway for somebody to come. So if you do it, you got to do it right. We see these all the time in construction cases, you put people up on scaffolding, they don’t give them the right equipment to tie anything off that is six feet off the ground, same thing here. You made this rampway, make it safe. Because people are going to come in and out of there, suppliers, workers, homeowners, inspectors from the bank, all kinds of people will be coming in.
Ed: You know what Greg’s motto is? Don’t take shortcuts on safety. He is Mr. Safety.
Greg: I don’t do shortcuts on anything.
Dave: So it’s an interesting answer for sure and if you have a question, you can talk to guys, catch them online as well. Results matter with attorneys Greg Fellerman and Ed Ciarimboli. Thanks, guys.
Ed: Thanks, Dave.
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