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What Is A Passageway Under NY Labor Law?” (NY)

January 20, 2023

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When a plaintiff alleges a Labor Law 241(6) predicated upon a New York City Rules & Regulations code, the plaintiff must establish a prima facie case that the NYCRR is violated.

For example, in <em><a href="https://www.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Stewart-v.-Brookfield-Off.-Props.-Inc..pdf">Stewart v. Brookfield Off. Props. Inc.</a>,</em> 2023 NY Slip Op 00226 (2d Dep’t January 18, 2023), the plaintiff allegedly fell at a construction site while installing a lighting fixture.

Plaintiff subsequently commenced a lawsuit against the defendant and depositions were conducted. Plaintiff testified at his deposition that he stepped off of a ladder and immediately tripped on a raised portion of the concrete floor.

Thereafter, defendants moved for summary judgment arguing that there was no labor law violation because the plaintiff’s injury did not occur on a passageway, which is a predicate to proving a violation. 12 NYCRR 23-1.7(e)(1), which requires owners and general contractors to keep all passageways free of obstructions which could cause tripping, is inapplicable because the site where the plaintiff allegedly tripped was not a passageway. Specifically, the Court stated, “In order to establish liability under Labor Law § 241(6), a plaintiff must "establish the violation of an Industrial Code provision which sets forth specific safety standards," and which "is applicable under the circumstances of the case.”

The lower court held, and the second department recently affirmed, that the defendant’s established the plaintiff’s injury did not occur in a passageway and therefore, there was no NYCRR violation. Accordingly, summary judgment was granted to the defendant.

Thanks to Lauren Howard for her contribution to this article.  Should you have any questions, contact <a href="mcare@wcmlaw.com">Matthew Care</a>.

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