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GIAMBALVO v. AMTRAK

March 31, 1994

WILLIAM GIAMBALVO, Plaintiff,
v.
NATIONAL RAILROAD PASSENGER CORP., TWO PENN PLAZA ASSOCIATES, BERNARD MENDIK, THE LONG ISLAND RAILROAD COMPANY and CHEMICAL BANK, Defendants. CHEMICAL BANK, Third-Party Plaintiff, v. KNIGHT MAINTENANCE CORP., Third-Party Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: DENIS R. HURLEY

 HURLEY, District Judge

 Plaintiff in the above-referenced action seeks recovery for personal injuries under the common-law theory of negligence, as well as certain statutory provisions of the New York Labor Law. Currently before the Court are the following motions: (1) motion for summary judgment by Defendant National Railroad Passenger Corporation ("Amtrak"); (2) motion for summary judgment by Defendants Two Penn Plaza Associates and Bernard Mendik; (3) cross-motion for summary judgment by Defendant Chemical Bank; (4) Plaintiff's cross-motion for summary judgment; and (5) cross-motion for summary judgment by Third-party Defendant Knight Maintenance Corporation. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants the motion of Defendant Amtrak, and the cross-motion of Plaintiff as against Amtrak is denied. Having dismissed the only claim over which the Court has original jurisdiction, the Court declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining claims, and, therefore, the Court does not reach the merits of the remaining motions.

 BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff, a member of Local 3 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, was employed by Third-party Defendant Knight Maintenance Corporation ("Knight"), as a lamp technician. His job responsibilities included the changing of lightbulbs in light fixtures at various sites, including the Chemical Bank located at Two Penn Plaza. Defendant Amtrak owns the concourse area of Two Penn Plaza, and leased the area to Defendants Two Penn Plaza Associates and Bernard Mendik, who, in turn, sub-leased the premises to Chemical Bank.

 On November 30, 1989, Plaintiff was called to Chemical Bank to replace a spotlight that had burned out. Prior to changing the bulb, he obtained a ladder from a storage room within the Chemical Bank premises. After removing the old bulb, and while standing on the ladder, Plaintiff fell and sustained certain injuries. *fn1"

 On April 15, 1991, Plaintiff brought an action in New York Supreme Court, County of Kings, to recover for these injuries. Because Defendant Amtrak is a corporation created by an Act of Congress, 45 U.S.C. §§ 501-658, the federal district courts have original jurisdiction over the action, 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1349, and, accordingly, the action was removed to this Court pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1441. The action alleges that Defendants are liable to Plaintiff under New York Labor Law §§ 240(1), 241(6), and 200, and the common-law theory of negligence.

 Discussion

 I. Standard for Review of Motion for Summary Judgment

 A motion for summary judgment may be granted only when it is shown that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986); Donahue v. Windsor Locks Bd. of Fire Comm'rs, 834 F.2d 54, 57 (2d Cir. 1987); Winant v. Carefree Pools, 709 F. Supp. 57, 59 (E.D.N.Y.), aff'd, 891 F.2d 278 (2d Cir. 1989). The party seeking summary judgment "bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion," and identifying which materials "it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323; see also Trebor Sportswear Co., Inc. v. The Limited Stores, Inc., 865 F.2d 506, 511 (2d Cir. 1989); Pariente v. Scott Meredith Literary Agency, Inc., 771 F. Supp. 609, 612 (S.D.N.Y. 1991). The substantive law governing the case will identify those facts which are material, and "only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986).

 Once the moving party has come forward with support demonstrating that no genuine issue of material fact remains to be tried, including pleadings, depositions, interrogatory answers, and affidavits, the burden shifts to the non-moving party to provide similar support setting forth specific facts about which a genuine triable issue remains. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Anderson, 477 U.S. at 250; Borthwick v. First Georgetown Sec., Inc., 892 F.2d 178, 181 (2d Cir. 1989); Donahue, 834 F.2d at 57. The Court must resolve all ambiguities and draw all reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party. Donahue, 834 F.2d at 57.

 "The mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment; the requirement is that there be no genuine issue of material fact." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48. Moreover, "conclusory allegations will not suffice to create a genuine issue. There must be more than a 'scintilla of evidence,' and more than 'some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts.'" Delaware & Hudson Ry. Co. v. Consolidated Rail Corp., 902 F.2d 174, 178 (2d Cir. 1990), cert. denied, 500 U.S. 928, 111 S. Ct. 2041 (1991) (quoting Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252, and Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586, 89 L. Ed. 2d 538, 106 S. Ct. 1348 (1986)); see also Carey v. Crescenzi, 923 F.2d 18, 21 (2d Cir. 1991). "The non-movant cannot 'escape summary judgment merely by vaguely asserting the existence of some unspecified disputed material facts,' or defeat the motion through 'mere speculation or conjecture.'" Western World Ins. Co. v. Stack Oil, Inc., 922 F.2d 118, 121 (2d Cir. 1990) (quoting Borthwick, 892 F.2d at 181, and Knight v. U.S. Fire Insurance Co., 804 F.2d 9, 12 (2d Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 480 U.S. 932, 94 L. Ed. 2d 762, 107 S. Ct. 1570 (1987)). With the above principles in mind, the Court turns to a discussion of the case at bar.

 II. Section 240(1)

 Plaintiff first claims that Defendant Amtrak is liable for his injuries pursuant to § 240(1) of the New York Labor Law. This section establishes a non-delegable duty upon owners and ...


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