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NY Labor Law 240(1) Offers No Protection for Fall from Kitchen Counter

Marshall Dennehey attorneys successfully argued the appeal of a summary judgment motion before the Appellate Division, First Department, affirming the trial court's order granting summary judgment to its client. We represented the owner of a construction project, a high-rise residential building. The plaintiff worked for a cleaning company that performed "final cleans" of the apartments, which consisted of cleaning each apartment after construction was completed. The plaintiff fell from a kitchen counter while cleaning the top of a cabinet. The main issue in the case was whether the plaintiff's work qualified for protection under Labor Law 240(1), which imposes absolute liability on owners of construction projects for workers who fall from a height. Protection under 240(1) depended on whether the plaintiff's "cleaning" work was protected under the statute, which required the application of a four-factor analysis from a recent Court of Appeals case, Soto v. J. Crew, Inc., 21 N.Y.3d 562 (2013). In one of the first appellate cases to interpret Soto, the court upheld the trial court's decision.

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