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Stilt Fall Does Not Trigger Labor Law 240(1) Claim

April 26, 2012

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In a minor victory for defendants in the recent Richmond County decision of <em>Garcia v. Mt. Airy Estates, Inc.,</em> the trial court dismissed Garcia’s Labor Law 240(1) claim due to the fact that there was no issue raised regarding the malfunctioning of his safety device - a pair of stilts.  Garcia, a dry wall laborer, wore stilts as he applied spackle to the ceiling of a garage.  While working on the stilts, he claimed that he fell because of debris on the floor.  The court held that there was no issue raised to suggest that the stilts failed to perform the function required of them by statute or that they failed to allow Garcia to safely perform his work at the required elevation.  All claims sounding in Labor Law 240(1) were dismissed despite the fact that Garcia was in fact working from a height. The court did permit Garcia's Labor Law §§ 200 and 241(6) claims to proceed due to the allegation that debris on the floor caused his fall.
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