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Injured Police Officer Contends Alleged Labor Law Violation Applies, New York Appellate Court Agrees


In this case, Patrick Balsamo is the respondent. The City of New York is the appellant and defendant.

Original Ruling

A New York Injury Lawyer said the city of New York originally filed a cross motion which asked for a summary dismissal of a case. This case was based upon a violation of Labor Law, and the action for damages sought was originally ruled upon in the Supreme Court of Kings County on March 28th, 2000.


The City of New York appealed whether claims under General Municipal Law can apply when Labor Law is violated.


During the course of the appeal, it is ruled that in fact a violation of Labor Law can provide for claims under General Municipal Law.

Case History

The original case in question involved a car accident. Patrick Balsamo was employed as a New York City Police Officer when the accident occurred and he sustained personal injuries. The defendant Yui Tung Chan collided with the radio motor patrol car in which Balsamo was working as a recorder. The original accident took place shortly before 3AM on the 29th of April. During the collision, Balsamo smashed his knee into the edge of a computer unit mounted in the car. The edge of this unit was not covered in any padding, and as so, was quite sharp.

After the accident Balsamo started action against the City. The driver of the vehicle Balsamo was in also commenced an action against the city.

The original allegation was that the City’s negligence resulted in the installation of the computer which violated several laws. The city was late ordered to show documentation in regards to the installation of the unit as well as any maintenance done to the computer. A Suffolk Personal Injury Lawyer said the second bill of particulars was later added to the action which involved the General Municipal Law. The accusation was that because no padding was installed around the computer that the City had violated its duty.

The original Supreme Court Ruling dismissed the parts of the action related to all parts of the law with exception to the violation of General Municipal Law 205-e. The city appealed the particular part of its cross motion for dismissal of that part of the case.

Labor Law ensures that all employees can work in a safe environment that is free from anything which stands a high chance of causing them harm. Public employees are protected by a bill that amended the Labor Law to ensure they had that same protection. A Westchester County Personal Injury Lawyer said the language in the specifically applicable sections of the Labor Law is very specific and indicates that employers absolutely must provide a safe environment for workers at all times.

The move to dismiss by the City which states that the Labor Law does not apply due to the nature of police work and the inherent dangers does not apply in this case. Even if the work itself is dangerous, the City is obligated to provide a workplace that does not increase the danger of injury in any way.

The original ruling of the Supreme Court was correct. It needed to be determined whether or not the sharp edge of the computer in question could be recognized as a potential safety hazard. There was also a fault on the part of the City to provide all of the information requested by the court in regards to the console. This resulted in the affirmation of the original ruling.

If you want a free telephone consultation on legal actions that you are considering, call Stephen Bilkis & Associates. When you find yourself in a situation where legal action seems like the only option, our lawyers will take a look at your situation and help you understand the ways that you can proceed. We’ll work with your best interests in mind so that you can find the best possible outcome. Our offices are located for your convenience throughout greater New York.

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