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Labor Law Victory In Name Only

February 1, 2012

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In <em>Russo v. Hudson View Gardens, Inc., </em>2012 NY Slip Op 00464, the First Department modified the trial court’s decision and awarded defendant Midboro Management summary judgment as to Russo’s Labor Law § 200 and common-law negligence claims. In doing so, the court noted that plaintiff’s allegations, stemming from the use of an A-frame ladder, were not viable against managing agent Midboro. The court emphasized that the record established that Midboro did not direct Russo’s work, nor did Midboro have actual or constructive notice of the allegedly unsafe condition. Midboro did not own the ladder in question, and Russo did not tell anyone about the allegedly unsafe condition, so as to establish notice on Midboro’s part. Nevertheless, regardless of this victory, the harsh reality of the statutory obligations imposed by Labor Law 240(1) and 241(6) remained, and are subject to trial by jury.
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