Revocation of license upheld

364 Meredith Avenue, Staten Island. Image Credit: Google Maps.

A rigging accident at a construction site killed a pedestrian. On March 10, 2017, a pedestrian was struck and killed by falling debris that became pried loose during rigging operations at a construction site located at 364 Meredith Avenue in Staten Island. Joseph Volpe, the Master Rigger on the job, delayed notifying the Department of Buildings about the incident despite being required to do so.  Following the accident, Buildings revoked Volpe’s Master Rigger’s licenses to hoist materials and issued five summonses charging various building code violations.

OATH upheld the charges and Volpe filed an article 78 petition challenging the OATH decision.

Volpe alleged that the OATH decision was not supported by substantial evidence and that the decision was based on hearsay evidence in the form of video testimony by a witness. Volpe also contended that his appeal should be heard by the Appellate Division, not the Supreme Court. Supreme Court Judge Zachary W. Carter refused to send the case to the Appellate Division and upheld OATH’s decision, finding it reasonable, rational, and supported by substantial evidence. Volpe appealed.

The Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed OATH’s finding but ruled that the proceeding should have been transferred to its jurisdiction because Volpe’s petition raised issues of substantial evidence. The Appellate Division held that Volpe was not denied due process, the hearsay evidence was admissible, and OATH’s determination was based upon substantial evidence.

Volpe v. New York City Dept of Bldgs. et al., 194 A.D.3d 459 (1st Dept 2021).

By: Christopher Devivo (Christopher is a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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