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Plaintiff Trips and Falls at Construction Site

An employee at a construction site tripped and fell and suffered personal injury on July 6, 2004.The property owner hired a construction manager and the construction manager hired a subcontractor. The injured man was an employee of the subcontractor. The subcontractor procured an insurance policy to provide liability coverage amounting to $4 million and named the owner of the property and the construction manager as the insured. Then the subcontractor procured another insurance policy for commercial liability to ensure that it will fulfill its obligations.

A New York Injury Lawyer said the injured man sued the property owner, the construction manager and the subcontractor for damages arising out of personal injury suffered by him as a result of his trip and fall. When the construction manager received the copy of the complaint against him, the construction manager’s own insurer gave notice to the insurer of the subcontractor informing him of the personal injury case. The insurer of the construction manager notified the insurer of the subcontractor and asked him to indemnify and defend the subcontractor in the personal injury suit filed against it by its own employee. Through a letter, the insurer of the construction manager asked the insurer of the subcontractor twice to indemnify and defend it in the suit. Fifty-one days later, the insurer of the subcontractor informed the insurer of the construction manager that he was disclaiming liability.

For this reason, the construction manager brought suit against the insurer of the subcontractor to force him not only to defend the construction manager against the claims of the injury employee but also to indemnify him. An NYC Personal Injury Lawyer said the construction manager and his insurer filed a motion for summary judgment asking that the construction manager’s complaint be dismissed for failure to file a timely claim.

The Court held that when an insurer wishes to disclaim liability or to deny coverage for personal injury, the insurer must give written notice as it is reasonably possible.

When there is no prompt notice, there can be no effective disclaimer or denial. The person who was insured has to serve a notice claim to the insurer. An NY Personal Injury Lawyer said the claim here was made by the insurer of the construction manager. The claim was not made by the subcontractor as he should have.

The Court has held that the letter sent by the construction manager’s insurance satisfied the notice of claim required by law even if the claim was not made by the insured himself. The insurer of the subcontractor has not explained why he incurred a delay of 50 days before filing his disclaimer. The Court also held that even if there are other insurers, since the complaint for personal injury claimed negligence on the part of the subcontractor, and the person injured was an employee of the subcontractor, the insurer of the subcontractor is primarily liable under its policy. For these reasons, the insurer of the subcontractor is primary to any other policy.

Thus, the insurer of the subcontractor cannot deny or disclaim any liability, It must indemnify and defend the other insured, the owner of the property and the construction manager.

A lawyer must sue the property owner, the construction manager, the contractors and subcontractors. The attorney must also make sure that the insurers of all those who would be defendants in a personal injury case are notified of the personal injury claim. Whether you have been injured in a trip and fall, car accident or motorcycle accident, call Stephen Bilkis and Associates today at any of their offices around the New York area.

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