Albany, NY – New York State Inspector General Letizia Tagliafierro recently announced the arrest of a Pearl River-based contractor who failed to obtain required workers’ compensation insurance despite having several employees working on construction jobs. One of the employees was injured on the job.
Peter and Kathryn McCann own and operate PMC Construction (PMC), a construction company based on Railroad Avenue in Pearl River. The McCanns were arraigned before Judge Richard C. Finning in Orangetown Justice Court on charges of Failure to Secure Compensation and two counts of Fraudulent Practices (E felonies).
The McCanns repeatedly filed for home improvement licenses/renewals with the Rockland County Office of Consumer Protection. In their applications, they claimed PMC had no employees and therefore did not meet the requirement for workers’ compensation insurance. New York State Workers’ Compensation Law requires all contractors to carry workers compensation insurance for their employees. Failing to carry insurance for more than five employees is a felony.
However, in January 2016, an individual working as a painter on a PMC project in Blauvelt fell off a ladder and fractured his foot. The individual filed a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board indicating that the accident occurred while he was employed by PMC.
The Inspector General reviewed multiple bills submitted by PMC to the client on the project that detailed the work performed by PMC from November 2015 to September 2016. The invoices listed more than five employees on the job, including the individual who was injured.
The employee worked for PMC sporadically since 2014. Peter McCann admitted to the Workers’ Compensation Board that he did not have workers’ compensation insurance, which would have covered the employee’s injury. The Board found PMC liable for the employee’s claim, which is being paid by the Uninsured Employers Fund.
“Workers’ Compensation insurance protects employees and employers,” said Inspector General Tagliafierro. “When business owners attempt to skirt rules to ensure coverage for their workers who are engaged in dangerous occupations, they show a disregard for their safety.”
Rockland County District Attorney Tom Walsh said “My office worked with investigators from the New York State Inspector General’s Office to ensure the prosecution of these defendants. Here is a perfect example of state and local agencies working jointly to ensure justice was served.“
Inspector General Tagliafierro thanked the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office Special Investigation Unit for prosecuting the case and conducting the arrest.
The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Source: NY Inspector General’s Office