When I was a college student, I used to paint houses in the summer to make a few bucks. I was fearless then. I would climb way up high on extension ladders and paint the peaks of three-story homes. And I would climb on roofs, lie down and dangle my head over the edge, and paint the eeves. Nothing was holding me to the roof except gravity and guts. I was in my 20’s and I did not think I could ever die, or even get injured. And work was plentiful. Homeowners readily hired me because I had a reputation for doing a good job on the cheap.
Now, much older, wiser, and having represented too many fallen workers in my job as a Central New York and Syracuse construction accident lawyer, I dare not climb a ladder even to clean my own gutters. Being a Central New York construction accident lawyer has its downside – I have lost my nerve. I take six steps up the ladder, my mind’s eye sees three or four clients who fell when the ladder they were on toppled, or when they lost their grip, I then think of how my family will fare without a breadwinner, and before you know it, I have backed my way down the ladder to the safety of mother earth.
My house needs painting. Even though I have painted over 50 houses in the day, I am not going to paint mine. I would much rather represent fallen workers than be one.
I want to hire a reputable painting company. I don’t want some inexperienced fly-by-night kid (like I was!) climbing up on my roof and courting death or serious injury. Am I worried about getting sued? No. That’s because I know that under the New York Labor Law, a homeowner is protected from liability for falling workers. Generally, only owners of buildings with a commercial purpose can be held liable for injuries suffered by a worker who falls from the building.
I want to hire a company of professional painters. A good professional painting company will follow proper ladder and scaffold safety rules, which includes tying the ladder down both from the bottom and the top, and using secure scaffolding whenever possible.
Yes, real professional painters are a bit more expensive than daredevil college kids. But life is too valuable to risk it.
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to hear from you!
Michael G. Bersani, Esq.
Central NY Personal Injury Lawyer Michaels & Smolak, P.C.