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Court Rules Against Insurance Company in Slip and Fall


Occasionally, a situation will arise that causes a personal injury to a person in which it is difficult to determine who holds the liability for the specific situation. In New York, according to a New York Injury Lawyer, most delivery companies have liability insurance that covers the delivery of their product through transport until the item is placed in its final delivered position. If a person is injured during a delivery, the delivery company has liability coverage that will cover it. However, if the product has already been placed in its delivered position, the delivery is complete and the insurance coverage for that delivery is over.

In one case that occurred on August 30, 2010 in Bronx County, New York, a man was walking across the floor of the basement boiler room in his residential building when he slipped. He slipped on oil that had been delivered the day before to the boiler room (slip and fall). Apparently, during the delivery, the delivery personnel spilled oil on the floor and failed to clean it up or notify anyone that the oil was on the floor. The man sustained significant injury in the fall and filed a lawsuit to recover damages from those injuries. The main also filed a motion to obtain a summary judgment from the court declaring that the defendant insurance company for the oil delivery truck pay those damages. The Supreme court of Bronx County granted the victim’s summary judgment and ordered the truck insurance company to reimburse the victim for his personal injury.

The insurance company for the delivery truck filed an appeal. They stated that the delivery had been completed the day before and thus they did not believe that they should hold any liability. The offered before the court the defense that they cannot be held liable for the injuries that were sustained the day after the delivery was completed. The court disagreed. A Queens Personal Injury Lawyer said the statute as written states that the products-completed operations hazard coverage applies if the work has not yet been completed or if the work was abandoned while it was in delivery and the company employee failed to complete the delivery in a satisfactory manner.

The court contends that the delivery of the oil was made the day before the accident. However, since oil was spilled on the floor, it is the responsibility of the delivery driver to ensure that the oil is cleaned up, or that someone is notified of the hazardous situation before an injury occurs. Since, the delivery driver left without cleaning up the oil, and did not notify anyone else that there was a spill that required cleaning up, the job should be considered abandoned. Because the job is considered abandoned without satisfactory completion based on the fact that the driver spilled the oil and did not clean up the spill, then the products completed operations hazard coverage under the insurance policy is still in effect. The job was abandoned, therefore, until the driver made arrangements for the spilled oil on the floor to be cleaned up, the insurance policy for the delivery truck is still in effect to cover any accidents that result from the abandonment of the delivery of the oil.

A Staten Island Personal Injury Lawyer said the appeals court ruled that the granting of summary judgment in this case requiring the delivery truck insurance carrier to be responsible for liability in this case was not premature. The court determined that the insurance company had failed to present any evidentiary basis that they would be able to provide any type of relevant evidence that would lead the court to determine that they were not responsible to cover the accident that resulted from the improper delivery of the oil to the building in question.

At Stephen Bilkis & Associates, New York slip and fall attorneys can help you formulate your claim for recovered damages. We are located in convenient offices throughout New York and the Metropolitan area. A New York personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case and help you make the best decisions for you and your family.

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