Labor Law Pointers Special Edition: 'Twas the Night Before Construction 2020


Labor Law Pointers

A Monthly Electronic Newsletter Addressing
New York State Labor Law Decisions and Trends

Special Holiday 2020 Edition


Here we are at the end of 2020, and good riddance.  We are using the team picture from last year’s holiday party--no gathering this year.
I hope that all of our subscribers are healthy and that their families and loved ones are as well.  We have all been touched by this pandemic. Many have lost family members, co-workers and friends.  All have, at minimum, lost time with those we enjoy the company of.  Many have fallen on hard times, lost jobs and income, suffered the effects of separation from each other and the world as we knew it. 
Through it all, we have learned some things about ourselves.  I had forgotten how much fun it is to play cards with my wife and kids.  Board games were dusted off.  Projects around the house, some requiring the use of a ladder (my wife continues to be convinced that I will die falling from one just for the ironic effect in my obituary).  This year brought into focus just how important those with whom we work are to us.  The daily conversations with co-workers, where to go for lunch, what you know about a judge or opposing attorney, and being able to just walk into their office and ask.  This loss is not just with those in our own office, but you, our subscribers, with whom we work and talk, about cases and about family.  Birthdays, Thanksgiving and other holidays missed, my daughter’s graduation ceremony from law school canceled.
Yet through it all we remain positive, better times are ahead, and we are all ready for them.  The vaccines are rolling out and better treatments for those who are infected. There is a lot to provide us with hope for the coming year. 
Have a safe, healthy and festive Holiday Season and a happy and healthy New Year. 



A Visit to the Construction Site
‘Twas the Night Before Construction

By David Adams

(with apologies to Clement Clark Moore)
‘Twas the night before Christmas and down at the site,
Not a tradesmen there was working, no one hanging a light;
The impalement protection hung by the shaft with great care,
Just in case an OSHA inspector decided to look over there.
The power tools were locked in the biggest gang box,
While the neighborhood kids pummeled windows with rocks;
The guard in his uniform and I in hard hat,
Had just opened a bottle from an old dusty vat;
When up on the third floor there arose such a sound,
That I flew up the ladder without touching the ground.
Away to the scaffold I ran looking spastic,
Jumped into the abatement area, and tore open the plastic.
The security light, on the beams of the just ‘rected structure,
Gave a look of great progress to this new joint venture,

When what through my tempered safety glasses did appear,
But a tipped over ladder and some broken veneer,
With a little old worker, looking injured and stiff,
I knew right away that he’d become a plaintiff.

More rapid than vultures the attorneys they came,
And they pushed and they shoved and called out his name,
“No I saw him first”, and “Who tipped that ladder”,
“Oh please just stand back, I will handle this matter!”

I filed pre-suit discovery on my way over here,
Said the one from the billboard, two phones to his ear.

As squirrels before racing trucks would flee,
When faced with an accident they giggled with glee.
So up to the scaffold the attorneys they flew,
With cards, blank retainers, and golden pens too.

And then in a twinkling I saw on the floor,
A harness, a lanyard, right there by the door.
As I stepped over closer and was looking around,
Plaintiff, he donned it, with a distinct clicking sound.
It was yellow and black with a sliding back ring,
And to keep you from falling, it was just the right thing;
So there, on the worksite, a safety device,
Appropriate and available, now isn’t that nice!
His leg how he held it, his arm it looked bad,
But the issue to my mind, what instruction he’d had.
Was he told to tie off, was he told not to climb,
Was he told to have the ladder be held every time? 

He had a pleasant face with a small little slice,
It bled as he rubbed it, which he seemed to find nice.

He was looking around, from lawyer to lawyer,
Asking each one “Can I sue my employer?”
With a wink and a nod, the attorney he said,
There are ways and I know them, you have nothing to dread.

We have us that statute, it’ll make you quite wealthy,
It will fill up your bank book and make you feel healthy.
We lawyers of course live just on a third,
Taking anything else, would be quite absurd.

He spoke not a word but started his notes,
With theories of gravity and dreams of new boats,
The ladder has shifted, of that he was sure,
It gave him 240, without a detour.

Plaintiff sprang to his feet and grabbing a pen,
He signed the retainer from the nice billboard men.
And I heard him exclaim “Hey I fell from a height”,
Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night.

David R. Adams
Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.
424 Main Street
Suite 1300 Liberty Building
Buffalo, New York 14202
Phone:  716.849.8900
Direct:  716.849.8916
Fax:  716.855.0874
Cell:  716.553.6901
Email:  [email protected]
H&F Website:

Labor Law Pointers is published the first Wednesday of each month.  If you know of others who may wish to subscribe to this free publication, please feel free to forward it.  If you wish to subscribe, please do so here or call the Editor/Labor Law Team Leader David R. Adams directly at (716) 849-8916.




Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.
1300 Liberty Building, Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: 716-849-8900, Fax: 716-855-0874
Long Island
575 Broad Hollow Rd., Melville, NY 11747
Phone: 631-465-0700, Fax: 631-465-0313
Phone: 518-641-0398
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