Labor Law Pointers Special Edition: 'Twas the Night Before Construction 2021



It is that time of year again, when we send out the Special Holiday Edition of Labor Law Pointers.  As I sat down to write this note, I pulled up last year's edition.  It conveyed my hope that all our subscribers and readers, along with their families, were healthy and that the pandemic was coming to an end. We continue to hope for that, even as new variants appear on the horizon.

In my family, we have progressed from no Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations last year to getting together with family and friends this year.  We are back in the office, mostly, and “business as usual” has a new meaning.  Trials are going forward while in-person depositions and travel are back on the table.  Our professional community is strong; we have maintained relationships through phone calls, Zoom and Teams.  We are headed in the right direction. 

I guess in the end what I am really trying to say is that we are so thankful that we have such a talented and thoughtful community of professionals that we work with, and that we talk to, not just about cases you may have a question about, but about how everyone is doing, how our work lives have changed, and how they have stayed the same.  We appreciate the team atmosphere, the community vibe if you will, that allows me to reach out to so many of you just to discuss a difficult situation, and the feeling of purpose in my work that I get when someone calls me with a situation we can work on together. 

Here’s wishing everyone a joyous and happy Holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year.  Remember that we are here to help, or just to talk something through, whenever you need it.



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.



Labor Law Pointers
David R. Adams

Associate Editor
Eric S. Bernhardt

Associate Editor
Brian F. Mark

Associate Editor
Timothy P. Welch

Associate Editor
Marc A. Schulz

Associate Editor
Eric D. Andrew

Labor Law Team


David R. Adams, Team Leader
[email protected]

Dan D. Kohane
[email protected]                                       

Marc A. Schulz
[email protected]
Michael F. Perley
[email protected]
Michael J. Dischley
[email protected]

Eric S. Bernhardt
[email protected]

Steven E. Peiper
[email protected]

Eric D. Andrew
[email protected]

Brian F. Mark
[email protected]

Timothy P. Welch
[email protected]

Cara M. Pascarella
[email protected]



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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© Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. 2021. All Rights Reserved.

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