Case: Alleged Burn injury
Counsel: Robert Von Hagen
Headline: Burn Injury Case in Building Grandfathered on Insulation Code
Result: Summary Judgment Granted
Defense won summary judgment in an unusual case involving Plaintiff who suffered a seizure. He involuntarily locked his feet around an exposed portion of his apartment’s steam heat riser. His feet remained locked around the pipe for a prolonged period of time and melted away the contacting skin.
Defense argued that this was an unforeseeable medical emergency, not any negligence on the part of the homeless shelter or its staff. NY’s 1968 Building Code requiring landowners to insulate such pipes did not apply because the building was constructed in 1906. Thus, the building was “grandfathered” under the older Building Code, which did not mandate pipe insulation. The Court agreed that the unforeseeable seizure was the operative event that severed any causal relationship between the injuries and any possible negligence by the defendant. The case was dismissed.