Steve Aripotch, who joined O’Dwyer & Bernstien in 1990, prosecutes, defends, and argues complex dispositive motions relating to the personal injury practice in the lower courts and acts as principal appellate attorney for the personal injury practice. Mr. Aripotch’s winning arguments in dozens of appeals in the State’s appellate courts, maximize the value of our client’s cases, enabling settlements and upholding jury verdicts totaling tens of millions of dollars for the Firm’s clients.
Mr. Aripotch has briefed and argued numerous appeals resulting in significant advances to worker protections under the New York State Labor Laws, including multiple decisions that reject attempts by contractors to avoid liability due to alleged worker error or disregard of safety rules and decisions preventing contractors from limiting the kinds of hazards covered by the Labor Law.
One particularly memorable decision involved a bricklayer who was seriously injured when he tripped over a brick removed from a wall his employer directed him to tear down and rebuild. Mr. Aripotch’s arguments to the appeals court prevailed over the long established defense that a worker cannot recover money damages if the hazard is an integral part of the work being performed. This decision is significant because it not only resulted in a substantial recovery for the bricklayer involved, it helped establish precedent that makes it possible for other workers similarly injured to recover damages for their injuries.
In another case, Mr. Aripotch’s skillful advocacy resulted in the expansion of work site protection where the appeals court that held a construction laborer who was injured by a falling object could recover money damages despite the defendant’s objection based upon existing law, that the distance the object fell was too slight to establish a claim under the Labor Law.
Mr. Aripotch has lectured on Personal Injury and Construction Accident Law. He is a member of the New York County Lawyer’s Association.