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Pipe To The Head Not A Valid Labor Law Claim (NY)

January 6, 2017

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<p style="text-align: justify;">In <a href="http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/ad2/calendar/webcal/decisions/2016/D50772.pdf"><em>Palomeque v. Capital Improvement Services</em></a>, a worker was descending a ladder when he swung a pipe and accidentally struck plaintiff John Palomeque in the head.  Plaintiff, an electrician on this construction site, followed the typical playbook and alleged Labor Law §240 as one of his claims in the lawsuit because a ladder was involved in the accident. And it seemed to be the right move, as the trial court awarded plaintiff summary judgment.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">But on appeal, the Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed that part of the decision on the violation of Labor Law §240(1) because the accident was "not the direct consequence of gravity to an object or person."  In other words, plaintiff's injury wasn't caused by the use of a ladder - he was injured because another worker swung a pipe without looking to see if anyone was nearby.</p>
<p style="text-align: justify;">Thanks to Geoff Bleu for his contribution to this post and please write to <a href="mailto: mbono@wcmlaw.com">Mike Bono</a> for more information.</p>

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