Construction sites can be dangerous places with hazards including heavy machinery, dangerous tools, scaffolding, ladders, lifts, electrical wires. debris, falling objects, and more. When a worker is injured or killed on or near a construction site, the owner or general contractor or a subcontractor may be liable.


I want to thank Rick Rutman and the law firm for continuing to help me years after my case was settled. I was an infant when my case was resolved. My infant's compromised check was inappropriately cashed. Years later, Mr Rutman helped me discover what happened to the check and fight with the bank that wrongfully cashed the check. The bank refused to reimburse me for improperly cashing the check. He wrote letters to the bank, called them and then made a complaint to the federal agency in charge of overseeing the bank. The bank finally gave up and issued me the check. Mr. Rutman did not charge me anything at all for this extra work he performed. He did it because it was the right thing to do.
Marcel B.
I highly recommend Rick Rutman and Popick & Rutman. I was referred to the law firm by a family friend. I was hurt in a demolition accident. The building I was working on collapsed. The law firm helped me every step of the way including finding the right medical specialists, the workers compensation attorneys and litigating the case. The case settled for 7 figures. Rick Rutman explained every step of the procedure with me, kept me informed of what was going on and obtained a great resolution without having to go to trial.
I was very  satisfied with the way Mr. Rutman represented me and my case.  From the start, he was very accommodating and drove to New Jersey to meet me.  He helped me find medical providers, he helped me obtain lost wages and he even helped me obtain a loan through a funding company.  On the other side, the defendant did everything they could to delay the case.  But Mr. Rutman stayed focused on my case. I found Mr. Rutman to be patient and seasoned. I was worried that the insurance company big wigs had more resources than we did but Mr. Rutman was a silent killer. I was truly impressed. I also appreciated the fact that Mr. Rutman broke down attorney jargon for me in layman's terms.  The case went to mediation and all the other passengers who made a claim settled at the mediation.  But Mr. Rutman told me that my offer was not enough and we did not settle.  Mr. Rutman traveled to California to do a videotaped deposition of my treating doctor to prepare for trial. The case was eventually resolved after jury selection for an amount more than double of what was offered at the mediation. Mr. Rutman and the law firm made me feel at ease and that my family & I could trust them.  The law office team was personable and always easy to reach.  I highly recommend Popick & Rutman.
-Thalia E.  (a client who sustained multiple fractures and other injuries while a passenger on a bus)
I was a construction worker hurt on the job while building the Second Avenue Subway. Initially, another attorney told me that I only had a workers compensation case and rejected my personal injury case. I was referred to Mr. Rutman by a friend whose case Mr. Rutman settled several years ago. Mr. Rutman settled my case for an amount I am extremely satisfied with, even though I came to him after the time to file a notice of claim had passed. He also got the workers compensation lien waived as part of the settlement. I would definitely recommend them to family and friends.
Luciano F.
I tripped and fell on the sidewalk and hurt my knee. They came to my house and Mr. Rutman took the time to answer all of my questions. In the beginning, I felt a lot of frustrations with the lawsuit process because I didn't know what to expect. but then they explained it to me step by step. I felt comfortable knowing that they were on my side looking out for me. The office staff was easy to deal with. They were very friendly, helpful and pleasant. They kept me informed of what was going on. The translators on their staff were good as well. They settled my case and I am very happy with the resolution. I would highly recommend them.
I slipped and fell in a supermarket while making a delivery. I did not report the accident to the manager, there was no accident report and I did not go to the emergency room. Initially, the insurance company for the supermarket did not want to pay for anything, claiming that there was no proof the accident happened, but Rick Rutman got the insurance company to pay six figures and got my workers compensation lien reduced. Everyone in the office was very helpful and friendly. I would definitely recommend Popick & Rutman to anyone who needs a good lawyer.
Shun Y

If you work in construction, demolition or industrial window washing you know how dangerous it can be on a daily basis. On the job injuries occur more often than you may think. Some common construction and demolition accident scenarios include:

  • falling from a ladder
  • falling through a hole
  • having an object fall on you (hoisting)
  • having your work surface fall
  • falling from a fire escape
  • having your eyes injured while hammering or chipping
  • having your fingers amputated while using a saw without a guard
  • inhaling poisonous fumes
  • falling from steps
  • falling in an elevator shaft
  • having walls fall or floors fall because they were not adequately supported
  • being buried alive because of improper trenching.

These are all cases that the Flushing, Queens personal injury lawyers of POPICK & RUTMAN have successfully handled for years.

New York Law has accepted the policy consideration that workers need to be protected while performing the dangerous activity of construction, demolition and industrial window washing. The protections come under the New York Labor Laws. One law provides absolute liability against the owner, general contractor or other party that has the right to direct and control a worker’s activities. New York State Labor Law section 240(1), commonly known as the “Scaffold Law” mandates that an owner, general contractor or other party who directs and controls a worker’s activities is absolutely liable for the worker’s injuries if they are injured as a result of the application of gravity, regardless of the worker’s own negligence. This law applies to workers who fall from a ladder or scaffold because it slid out, broke or was not adequate for the job. The rule also applies to other devices or objects that are being used as the functional equivalent of a ladder or scaffold. For example, someone is standing on a bucket or desk to reach a height. If they fall, they have an action under 240(1). An owner, general contractor or other party with the right of direction and control is not liable if it can show that the Plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of their injury. This would include establishing that the worker misused the equipment or did not follow instructions.

A worker has a cause of action under another section of New York State Labor Law, section 241(6), if they can establish that there is a violation of the New York State Industrial Code. This is a State code which enumerates safety standards. There are standards for using ladders, scaffolds, saws, using personal protection such as hard hats, gloves and breathing devices when working with poisonous or toxic fumes, doing demolition, falling through holes, and protecting the public. A violation of one the industrial code sections acts as a predicate for bringing a cause of action under the section. POPICK & RUTMAN has been working with engineers, safety consultants and architects for over 30 years in establishing the violation of sections to establish safety code violations. The main difference between 240(1) and 241(6) cases is that there is not absolute liability against a defendant in a 241(6) case. In the 241(6) case, the Plaintiff’s damages are offset by his comparative negligence.

The window washers you see on the platforms on the sides of tall buildings and sky scrapers also have liability against a building owner under Section 202 of the Labor Law if they can establish a violation of the industrial code. The code requires that the building owner must ensure that the building is fitted with structural features, anchors or other fixed devices for the window washer’s protection.

A major concern of many injured workers is immigration status. Many New York immigrants, documented or undocumented, are working off-the-books on non-union construction jobs. These jobs generally do not have the protections that union jobs have because of the absence of union-required shop stewards and site safety managers. However, the fact that a worker is undocumented and/or is working off-the-books does not affect their protection under the labor law.

If you have been hurt while on the job or are a victim of a construction or demolition accident, then call the personal injury attorneys at POPICK & RUTMAN today at (718) 321-7460. We can help your claim get settled.