Jason Ben Nathan / Sun Senior Photographer

The Pi Delta Psi fraternity on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, where a UPS worker said he fell in 2014, spurring a recent lawsuit.

September 26, 2017

Cornell Sued After UPS Worker Said He Slipped and Fell on Fraternity Staircase

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A United Parcel Service employee’s fall on a staircase in front of a Cornell fraternity three years ago could end up costing the University.

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company is suing Cornell three years after the company says a UPS employee was injured when he slipped and fell while walking on a damaged staircase in front of Pi Delta Psi on Triphammer Road.

The slip and fall, which the insurance company said occurred on Sept. 24, 2014, led the UPS employee to submit a claim to Liberty Mutual, which paid him workers’ compensation and is now suing Cornell on his behalf.

In New York State Supreme Court in Tompkins County, Liberty Mutual said Cornell’s “negligence, careless and reckless acts, and/or omissions” directly resulted in injuries to the UPS worker, who “suffered various physical injuries and has been caused to incur bills for medical expenses and medical treatment,” the company said.

The insurance company does not mention what injuries the UPS worker suffered, but demands that Cornell pay damages, with interest, as well as attorney’s fees and the cost of the lawsuit.

It is not clear from the filing if the insurance company is claiming the UPS driver was injured walking up the wood staircase attached to the green fraternity house or on a stone set of steps leading up to the front of the building at 124 Triphammer Rd.

Mark S. Labe, the New York attorney representing Liberty Mutual, did not respond to an email and voicemail on Tuesday afternoon.

Because Cornell owned or maintained the staircase in question in front of Pi Delta Psi, the insurance company said, the University is responsible for the injuries reportedly suffered by the UPS employee.

Pi Delta Psi is an Asian-interest fraternity founded in 1994 in Binghamton, according to the fraternity’s website. No members of the fraternity are named in the lawsuit.

The University has not yet responded to the lawsuit, which was filed on Sept. 22.

The insurance company, Liberty Mutual, is suing because it already paid the UPS employee’s claim, according to the suit. Therefore, the suit says, the insurance company became entitled to the rights of the UPS worker to file suit against Cornell.