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Labor Law 240 May Be Applicable Even If No Defect To Ladder

June 8, 2009

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In Nakis v. Apple, defendant Apple Computer, Inc. hired plaintiff to determine the cause of a malfunctioning air conditioner. During plaintiff's work, he fell from an A-Frame Ladder after he received an electrical shock. There was no apparent defect in the ladder. The Supreme Court, New York County, addressed two issues: 1) whether the work on the air-conditioning unit was "routine maintenance, which is not covered by Labor Law section 240, or "repair work," which is covered by the statute; and 2) whether summary judgment is proper when there is no defect in the ladder, and plaintiff fell because of an electrical shock. The Court held that 240 applied because plaintiff was performing repair work to an inoperative air conditioner as opposed to replacing a component because of normal wear and tear. The Court further held that "the fact the plaintiff fell from a ladder because of an electrical shock does not preclude recovery under Labor Law."
Thanks to Justin Rowe for his contribution to this post.
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