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Plaintiff's 241(6) Claim For Asbestos Exposure Unsupported By Industrial Code Part 12 Regulations

February 25, 2009

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To mount a 241(6) claim, it must be properly supported by a violation of a concrete provision of Industrial Code, part 23.

In Nostrom v. A.W. Chesteron Co., plaintiff commenced a wrongful death action due to plaintiff's decedent's exposure to asbestos in the workplace. While plaintiff's complaint was pursuant New York State Labor Law 241(6), she solely relied upon two Industrial Code, part 12 regulations, 12 NYCRR 12-1.4(b)(3),(4) and 12-1.6(a). The landowner and general contractor defendants successfully moved for summary judgment in the trial court.

On appeal, the Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed the lower court's decision, ruling that it is the provisions of part 23 of the Indutrial Code that serve as the predicate for Labor Law 241(6) claims. The Court found that the Industrial Code part 12 regulations that plaintiff relied on do not support an action for owner/contractor vicarious liability under Labor Law 241(6) since part 12 ("Control of Air Contaminants") gives no indication either that it was enacted pursuant to Labor Law 241(6) or that it contemplates owner/contractor vicarious liability. Moreover, the Court held that part 12 regulations cited by plaintiff were not sufficiently specific to support a Labor Law 241(6) claim for asbestos-related injury.

Thanks to Robin Green for her contribution to this post.

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