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NY App Div Rules No Issue of Fact in Plaintiff's Labor Law Claims

June 17, 2010

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In Hernandez v. 42/43 Realty LLC, the First Department upheld the lower court’s decision granting plaintiff’s summary judgment as to liability on her cause of action pursuant to Labor Law §240(1), stating that defendants failed to establish a question of fact as to the proximate cause of plaintiff’s injuries. In Hernandez, plaintiff was a field technician hired to install digital subscriber line jacks in residential building, which was accomplished by plaintiff ascending a ladder in the sub-basement, while a co-worker on the upper floor fed her the cable through the ceiling. On the date at issue, after plaintiff secured the ladder and climbed it, the ladder then shook and toppled over, causing her to fall and sustain injuries.

Defendant alleged that plaintiff provided two conflicting accounts of the event during her two depositions. However, the appellate court found that plaintiff’s deposition did not contain any significant conflicts. Furthermore, the appellate court noted that defendants had not produced any testimony from any person contradicting plaintiff’s version of what took place, nor did they produce any expert opinion concerning the lack of danger how plaintiff executed her job. The appellate court held that defendants had not supported their argument that there existed a question of fact with respect to their liability under Labor Law §240(1).

Thanks to Katusia Lundi for her contribution to this post.

<a href="http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2010/2010_05266.htm">http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2010/2010_05266.htm</a>

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