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Condo Board Liable in Worker Injury Suit

Upper West Side

Condo Liability

The Hermitage Condominium on the Upper West Side (image via Google Maps)

Aug. 5, 2016

In a ruling that will come as a relief to every condo unit-owner in the city, an appeals court has ruled that an Upper West Side condominium’s board of managers – not the owners of units – is liable for damages being sought by a worker who fell from an unsecured scaffolding in the building’s boiler room.

In its ruling the Appellate Division, First Department, wrote that it’s “well established that a claim arising from the condition or operation of the common elements does not lie against the owners of the individual units,” the New York Law Journal reports. The building’s conversion under the state’s Condominium Act, the judges added, placed the building’s common elements “solely under the control” of the board of managers.

The lawsuit stems from an accident in February of 2009, when Orfeusz Jerdonek fell from a scaffolding while working in the boiler room at the Hermitage Condominium, at 41 West 72nd Street.

The appeals court ruling affirmed a lower court’s decision that Jerdonek is entitled to summary judgment. The case now goes to trial to determine the precise amount of damages that will be awarded.

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