Plumber fined for temporary sidewalk

Temporary sidewalk in front of 30 Metcalfe Street. Image Credit: Google Maps

Plumbing subcontractor completed work at construction site, but did not permanently restore sidewalks. Quality Plumbing, Inc. worked as a subcontractor at four construction sites on Staten Island. The four sites were located at 30 Metcalfe Street, 24-26 Windom Avenue, 65 Todt Hill Road, and 23 Highmount Road. For each address, Quality obtained a street opening permit from the Department of Transportation to perform excavation and plumbing work. Quality completed its plumbing work before the general contractor completed the construction work. Quality repaired the roadway when it completed its work, but left the sidewalk in a temporary state. Between August and October 2019, the DOT served six summonses charging permit violations on Quality for failing to repair the excavated sidewalk before its permit expired.

At an OATH hearing, DOT argued that as a DOT permittee Quality was required to permanently restore the sidewalks. Quality argued that the “Builders Pavement Plan” for each location shifted final responsibility for the sidewalk repairs from Quality to the general contractors who had not completed the construction on the site. The hearing officer agreed with Quality, held that responsibility had shifted to the general contractors, and dismissed the violations against Quality.

DOT appealed. DOT argued that DOT’s street opening permits controlled and that the Builders Pavement Plans did not shift responsibility for the permanent sidewalk restorations from Quality to the general contractors. The Builders Pavement Plans were not part of the DOT permits issued to Quality. In addition, they were unsigned and dated after the DOT permits obtained by Quality had expired.

The OATH Appeals Division agreed with DOT, held that Quality violated its permits by not permanently restoring the sidewalks, and reversed the hearing officer’s decision. The Appeals Division imposed a penalty of $5,600.

DOT v. Quality Plumbing, Inc., OATH Hearings Division Appeals Unit, Appeal No. 2000164 (Mar. 5, 2020).

By: Maya Addady (Maya is a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2020.)


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