A Bedford construction company is pursuing two lawsuits over who will compensate a worker injured on the job at Mount Kisco Village Hall.
The village sued BJB Construction Corp. on June 23, claiming that the contractor had not carried liability insurance for the project. Next, Travelers Casualty Insurance Co. sued BJB on June 28, alleging that the contractor had falsely obtained insurance coverage.
The dispute relates to a 2020 contract to modernize an elevator in the village hall. BJB Construction, also known as Moy Construction and operated by Bernard Begley, won the $1.1 million contract.
On June 21, 2021, BJB employee Kivanc Yoruk was injured on the job, and last February, Yoruk, of Bergen County, New Jersey, sued the village in Westchester Supreme Court.
He is seeking unspecified damages for injuries he says left him “lame, maimed and disabled”.
He argues the village was aware of the unsafe conditions and was negligent in failing to provide a safe place to work.
The village has largely denied Yoruk’s claims, arguing, for example, that his conduct contributed to injuries and that any faulty condition was insignificant or so obvious that it could have been avoided.
Then the village filed a third-party complaint against BJB in Westchester Supreme Court. Their contract, the village pointed out, required BJB to carry a $1 million general liability insurance policy and a $5 million umbrella policy and to release the village from any liability arising from the project.
The village demands that BJB pay for any damages Yoruk wins in his lawsuit.
Next, Travelers sued BJB and Mount Kisko in U.S. District Court in White Plains.
The Hartford, Connecticut insurer had issued general liability policies to BJB from October 2018 to October 2022. But the policies, according to Travelers, excluded coverage for certain work, such as elevator installations and general business.
BJB had applied for insurance as a contractor for driveways, sidewalks or parking areas, Travelers says, and said it was not doing any ineligible activities.
BJB’s insurance broker had acknowledged that it had included a fraud disclosure statement that prohibited filing a claim with false or misleading information, the complaint states, and that the broker had reviewed the statement with BJB.
BJB asked travelers to consider Mount Kisco an insured party on its policy when an insurance claim was filed alleging Yoruk was injured due to the actions of the village.
Travelers discovered in its investigation that Mount Kisco had hired BJB as the general contractor to install a new elevator shaft and therefore the work was ineligible under the insurance policy.
“Had the eligibility questions on the application been answered correctly,” the complaint states, “the travelers would not have issued the policies to BJB.”
Travelers asks the court to retroactively void the insurance policies, declare that it has no obligation to the village, and declare that BJB or Mount Kisco reimburses it for all expenses related to the Yoruk claim.
BJB did not respond to an email asking for her side of the story.
Adam M. Hurwitz represents Yoruk. Kenneth E. Pitcoff represents Mount Kisco. Thomas A. Martin represents travelers.