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The Continued Expansion Of Labor Law §240(1) (NY)

June 30, 2023

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In recent NY Case, <em><a href="">Ramones v. 425 County Rd, LLC, et al.</a>,</em> (2023 NY Slip Op 03489), plaintiff brought suit for personal injuries sustained while placing equipment on the roof of his truck while at a job site. He sued the property owner and general contractor, under NY Labor Law, specifically sections §240(1) and §241(6).

While historically §240(1) has been dubbed the “scaffolding law,” as it was typically applied in situations where a plaintiff fell from a height, recently a string of cases has come down from the Appellate Division broadening its application. The Ramones court emphasized prior interpretation of this statute which expanded its protection to include “<em>harm directly flowing from the application of the force of gravity to an object or person</em>.”   Here, the lower court deemed that the removal of equipment from the worksite and loading onto the top of the van did not permit for protection under §240, however, the Appellate Division reversed this decision. The Appellate Division decision held 1) there was no demonstration that no safety device existed that would have prevented plaintiff from falling, and 2) the loading process was an act “ancillary” to the alteration of the structure at the property.

This holding shows expansion of courts applying §240. Seemingly, it now includes any harm caused during the work, as well as the loading and unloading of equipment process. Further, any plaintiff who sustains an injury caused by the falling of an object or person seemingly avails itself to § 240 protection.

Thanks to Chris Palmieri for his assistance in this article.  Should you have any questions, please contact <a href="">Tom Bracken</a>.


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