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Improvised Scaffold Falls Flat For Labor Law 240(1) Claim (NY)

March 17, 2016

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To recover on a cause of action pursuant to Labor Law § 240(1), a plaintiff must demonstrate that there was a violation of the statute, and that the violation was a proximate cause of the accident. If a defendant is able to set forth a prima facie case for summary judgment that the violation was not a proximate cause of the accident, a plaintiff must raise a triable issue of fact by admissible evidence to preserve the allegation for trial.
In <a href="http://blog.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Saavedra-v-64-Annfield-Ct.-Corp.-2016-NY-Slip-Op-01479.pdf" rel="">Saavedra v 64 Annfield Ct. Corp.</a>, the  plaintiff alleged that he sustained personal injuries when he and a coworker were installing wooden coverings to metal support columns on the ground floor of property owned by defendant 64 Annfield Court Corp.  In the course of their installation, plaintiff and his coworker elected to construct and utilize a makeshift structure of wooden planks over metal rebar that was protruding from the concrete floor instead of the readily available A-frame ladder or metal scaffolding that was in the immediate vicinity of their work area. While standing on the makeshift structure, it collapsed, which caused the plaintiff to fall approximately 8 to 10 feet to the ground.
The Supreme Court granted the portions of summary judgment motions by the owner and general contractor dismissing the Labor Law § 240(1) claims. The Second Department concurred in the finding that the use of the makeshift structure was the sole proximate cause of the accident precluding recovery under the statute.
Thanks to Lauren Tarangelo for her contribution.
For more information, contact Denise Fontana Ricci at <a href="mailto:dricci@wcmlaw.com">dricci@wcmlaw.com</a>.

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