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Defendant Liable Under Labor Law Even Though Evidence Plaintiff Was Negligent

May 8, 2009

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In <i>Balzer v. City of New York</i>, et al. the plaintiff, an iron worker, was injured while working as part of a construction crew that was bolting lateral bracing to road beams on an elevated roadway along the Whitestone Expressway. The plaintiff was wearing a safety harness and lanyard that could be attached to either a safety cable or other stationary object. Since there were no safety cable in the plaintiff's work area, he tied his lanyard around a steel "cross bracing stiffner." The cross bracing stiffner moved causing plaintiff to fall 15 feet. The plaintiff filed moved for summary judgment on his Labor Law Section 240 claim and the court granted the motion holding that the plaintiff established his entitlement to summary judgment by proving that he was not provided with a safety cable. The court also stated that the fact that there was evidence that the plaintiff was partially at fault for attacthing the lanyard to an object that was not statinary is not a defense to liability under Labor Law Section 240(1).
Thanks to Ed Lomena for his contribution to this post.
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