We are happy to announce that The Grandelli Firm will now be known as


The addition of Leigh Eskenasi as a named partner recognizes his dedication to our clients, and his contributions to the numerous multi-million dollar recoveries the firm has obtained, which are among the highest in New York State.


The Cutaia Case: a New York City Construction Accident Settlement

New York City construction accident
Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Grandelli & Eskenasi is proud to announce that after extensive litigation, we were able to settle a construction accident lawsuit on behalf of a New York City plumber for $7,250,000, the day before the trial was scheduled to begin. This a case that gained some notoriety in legal circles last year because there was a significant amount of litigation in the Appellate Divisions in New York State concerning the issue of whether the incident was covered under NYS Labor Law §240(1), otherwise known as the “scaffold law”.

This New York City construction accident happened when a worker on a ladder received an electric shock due to an uninsulated electric wire

The accident happened when our client was working on a ladder performing work on copper pipes in the ceiling, and received an electric shock due to an uninsulated electric wire in his work area. As a result of this shock, both he and the ladder fell to the ground.


We successfully demonstrated that the defendants were liable under NYS Labor Law §241(6), which, in part, requires that any such work areas be deactivated from electrical hazards and that proper warnings be provided to any workers. However, the courts in New York were basically evenly divided on whether the case implicated Labor Law §240(1), which provides protection to workers who are performing construction-related activities where there is an elevated height danger.

The New York City construction accident case went to the NYS Court of Appeals in Albany

When our office moved for summary judgment requesting a determination that the defendants were liable under the scaffold law as a matter of law, the trial court held that this was a question of fact that should be decided by a jury. However, the Appellate Division, First Department, reversed the trial court’s decision, and by a 3-2 majority, found in our favor and found that the statute was violated. The case then went to the NYS Court of Appeals in Albany, which is the highest court in New York, where I orally argued it twice. The first oral argument was in the spring of 2021, and within a week after the argument, the court issued a decision directing a re-argument. Although not explicitly stated, the only implication from that decision is the court was evenly divided on whether Labor Law §240(1) was violated. The second oral argument took place in the spring of 2022, and the court ultimately decided, by a 4-3 majority, that the issue of whether the scaffold law was violated should be determined by a jury.


In any event, in the end, we successfully established the defendants’ liability as a matter of law under the NYS Labor Law and were able to settle this case the day before trial for $7,250,000, after rejecting a “final offer” of $1.5 Million at a prior mediation.


If you or someone you know has been seriously injured in a New York City construction accident, please contact the attorneys at Grandelli & Eskenasi for a free consultation.


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