HINTZE v. BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY

Reset A A Font size: Print

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Richard HINTZE, Appellant, v. BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LABORATORY, et al., Respondents.

Decided: December 26, 2000

LAWRENCE J. BRACKEN, J.P., FRED T. SANTUCCI, MYRIAM J. ALTMAN and ANITA R. FLORIO, JJ. Schlachter & Mauro, Commack, N.Y. (Reynold A. Mauro of counsel), for appellant. Adler & Larkin, Riverhead, N.Y. (Ralph J. Bavaro of counsel), for respondents.

In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, the plaintiff appeals, as limited by his brief, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Werner, J.), dated February 9, 2000, as granted that branch of the defendants' motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed insofar as appealed from, with costs.

 When an employee elects to receive workers' compensation benefits from his general employer, a special employer is shielded from any action at law commenced by the employee (see, Workers' Compensation Law § 29 [6];  Thompson v. Grumman Aerospace Corp., 78 N.Y.2d 553, 578 N.Y.S.2d 106, 585 N.E.2d 355;  Martin v. Baldwin Union Free School District, 271 A.D.2d 579, 706 N.Y.S.2d 712).   A special employee is defined as “one who is transferred for a limited time of whatever duration to the service of another” (Thompson v. Grumman Aerospace Corp., supra, at 557, 578 N.Y.S.2d 106, 585 N.E.2d 355).   Generally, whether a person can be categorized as a special employee is a question of fact (see, Kramer v. NAB Constr. Corp., 250 A.D.2d 818, 671 N.Y.S.2d 1015;  Singh v. Metropolitan Constr. Corp., 244 A.D.2d 328, 663 N.Y.S.2d 870;  Fitzgerald v. New York City Transit Authority, 243 A.D.2d 606, 668 N.Y.S.2d 895).   However, the issue may be decided by the court as a matter of law “where the particular, undisputed critical facts compel that conclusion and present no triable issue of fact” (Thompson v. Grumman Aerospace Corp., supra, at 558, 578 N.Y.S.2d 106, 585 N.E.2d 355;  Martin v. Baldwin Union Free School District, supra;  Causewell v. Barnes & Noble Bookstores, 238 A.D.2d 536, 657 N.Y.S.2d 87;  Rotoli v. Domtar, Inc., 229 A.D.2d 934, 645 N.Y.S.2d 367;  Eagen v. Harlequin Books, 229 A.D.2d 935, 645 N.Y.S.2d 226;  Garner v. Two Exchange Plaza Partners, 215 A.D.2d 352, 625 N.Y.S.2d 649;  Olsen v. We'll Manage, 214 A.D.2d 715, 625 N.Y.S.2d 301;  Schulze v. Associated Universities, 212 A.D.2d 588, 622 N.Y.S.2d 570).

 In this case, the Supreme Court properly determined that, as a matter of law, the plaintiff was a special employee of the defendants.   Thus, since it is undisputed that the plaintiff received workers' compensation benefits from his general employer, the defendants were entitled to summary judgment (see, Martin v. Baldwin Union Free School District, supra).

MEMORANDUM BY THE COURT.

Copied to clipboard