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A recent decision by the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, provides important clarification on when a property owner that serves as its own general contractor on a construction project can be held liable for safety violations and injuries to subcontractor employees. Costa v. Gaccione , 408N.J.Super 362, involved a construction accident case where the plaintiff suffered injuries when he fell from makeshift scaffolding. The evidence reflected that there were no safety rules or practices on the job, no one was in charge of safety and OSHA construction site safety regulations were not enforced. The Law Division dismissed all claims against the landowner/general contractor, Salvatore Gaccione, on the basis that he had no duty to manage safety or enforce the OSHA regulations on the project. The court reasoned that under the case Slack v. Whalen , 327 N.J. Super. 186 (App. Div. 2000), as a residential landowner Gaccione had no duty to enforce OSHA or mange safety.

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