The opinion of the court was delivered by: WILLIAM SKRETNY, District Judge
In this case, Plaintiff Matthew D. Smith alleges that he was
injured as a result of the negligent and unlawful conduct of
Defendant E.I. duPont de Nemours & Co. ("DuPont"). Specifically,
Plaintiff contends that DuPont is liable for injuries that he
sustained while performing electrical work at a DuPont plant
located in Buffalo, New York. Currently before this Court are
motions for summary judgment filed by Plaintiff and DuPont.
The following facts are undisputed for purposes of the present
motions. DuPont is a science and technology company based in
Delaware and authorized to do business in New York. In April of
2000, DuPont entered into a contract with O'Connell Electric
Company, a New York corporation that specializes in electrical
work. . (DuPont's Rule 56 Statement, ¶ 1). Under the terms of
that contract, O'Connell agreed to perform electrical work at a DuPont plant located in Buffalo, New York ("the DuPont
At the times relevant to this action, Plaintiff was employed by
O'Connell as an apprentice electrician. (Plaintiff's
Rule 56 Statement, ¶ 1). On May 4, 2000, Plaintiff was installing
electrical ducts at the DuPont plant. (DuPont's Rule 56 Statement
at ¶ 16). During the course of the day, Plaintiff generally
worked from the first or second step of a ten-foot step ladder
provided by O'Connell. Id. at ¶¶ 17,18. When he was working on
the second step and wanted to descend, Plaintiff stepped directly
from the second step onto the floor. Id. at ¶ 19.
At approximately 2:50 p.m., Plaintiff ascended to the fourth or
fifth step of his ladder to take a measurement. Id. at ¶ 20.
While Plaintiff was standing on the fourth or fifth step, a tape
measure that he had clipped to the front of his pants pocket fell
to the ground. Id. at 21. Mistakenly believing that he was
still on the first or second step, Plaintiff attempted to step
directly off of the ladder onto the ground. Id. at ¶ 22. As a
result, Plaintiff toppled off of the ladder, struck the ground,
and injured his chin, left elbow, and right wrist. Id. at ¶ 24.
Plaintiff commenced this action on May 16, 2001, by filing a
Summons and Complaint in New York State Supreme Court, County of
Erie. On June 26, 2001, DuPont removed the action to the United
States District Court for the Western District of New York by
filing a Notice of Removal.
On March 22, 2002, DuPont filed a Third Party Complaint,
seeking indemnification and contribution from O'Connell,
Plaintiff's employer. Subsequently, DuPont and O'Connell reached
a settlement agreement and this Court filed an order dismissing
the Third Party Complaint on March 25, 2004. As such, the only
claims remaining in this case are those asserted by Plaintiff against DuPont.
On March 14, 2003, DuPont filed a Motion for Summary Judgment
pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Plaintiff filed a Cross-Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on
April 11, 2003. This Court heard oral argument on June 4, 2003,
and reserved decision at that time.