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Balbuena v. IDR Realty
New York Court of Appeals
845 N.E.2d 1246 (2006)
Gorgonio Balbuena (plaintiff) was employed as a construction worker by Taman Management Corporation (Taman) on a worksite owned by IDR Realty LLC (defendant). While working at the site, Balbuena fell from a ramp and sustained severe head trauma and other injuries that left him unable to work. Balbuena filed suit, alleging negligence and violations of state labor laws. Balbuena sought several categories of damages, including lost wages. Taman, a third-party defendant in the lawsuit, moved for partial summary judgment, arguing that Balbuena could not be awarded lost wages because he was an undocumented alien and not authorized to work in the United States. Although Balbuena had entered the United States unlawfully, there was no evidence that he submitted false documentation to Taman regarding his eligibility to work. The trial court concluded that an undocumented alien could recover lost wages under state law and denied Taman’s motion for partial summary judgment. The appellate division modified the order, finding that Balbuena was precluded from claiming lost wages derived from income earned in the United States but could seek lost wages based on income that could have been earned in his home country.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Graffeo, J.)
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