Appellate Court Finds Building Managing Agent May Be Held Responsible as Third Party for Injuries Sustained by Employee after Performing Repairs

Thursday, June 9, 2016

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — Arze & Mollica, LLP has announced that an Appellate Court has permitted the firm’s client to move forward against the managing company of a building owner. The client was critically injured when he fell off a ladder after repairing a hole in the roof above a high-end antiques center.

Glenwood Management Corp., the building’s manager, was named as a third-party defendant in New York State Workers’ Compensation Law and Labor Law claims filed by Dzevat Kolenovic, an employee of 56th Realty, LLC. The managing agent sought to extend the Workers’ Compensation defense to itself, arguing that both entities were closely related and, therefore, each other’s “alter egos.” The lower court denied the motion. Glenwood also moved to dismiss the Labor Law claim, but that, too, was denied.=

On September 30, 2010, Mr. Kolenovic climbed up a 12-foot-high metal ladder to fix a leaky roof at a building located at 300 East 56th Street and 1050 Second Avenue in Manhattan. The leak occurred above the roof of the Manhattan Art & Antiques Center (MAAC), whose entranceway is on the Second Avenue side of the building. 

After completing the repair, Mr. Kolenovic began to go down the ladder as it rained. As he attempted to descend, the ladder began to shake and his feet slipped off the rungs, causing him to fall. He attributed the fall to the ladder shaking and being wet, the wind and the fact there was not enough room for the safe placement of his feet at the top of the ladder.

On May 24, 2016, the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed the lower court’s rulings. The Appellate Court determined that, based on the agreement on record between 56th Realty and Glenwood Management, the latter company is acting as the former’s manager, not its “alter ego.” The Appellate Court also found that the repair Mr. Kolenovic performed was not routine maintenance and proper protection was not provided for the plaintiff at the worksite.

Raymond J. Mollica, Counsel, Arze & Mollica, represented Mr. Kolenovic.

“We are pleased with the Appellate Court’s ruling,” Mr. Mollica said. “Our client was placed in harm’s way, as he was not provided a proper safety device to access the worksite. As a result, he was seriously injured and the managing agent of the building was attempting to avoid liability for which the law imposes on it in these types of situations. It was only right for my client to receive a just decision.”

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About Arze & Mollica, LLP

Arze & Mollica, LLP is established as an outstanding and aggressive law firm out of Brooklyn, New York, with attorneys that provide high-quality legal services in the field of personal injury law. The law firm was started by two attorneys from Manhattan law firms who decided to bring that type of top-notch quality legal representation to their Brooklyn office. Over the years, the firm has served clients who have suffered severe injuries due to medical negligence, defective products, construction accidents, automobile accidents and injuries at work. We have also provided representation and counseling in insurance coverage disputes, worker’s compensation cases, and business litigation. For more information, call (718) 996-5600 or visit