Cotroneo v. Van Wagner Sign Erectors, LLC, 177 N.Y.S.3d 40, 42 (App. Div. 2022)

New York Appellate Division, First Department determined that a gang box lid falling on an employee would not be considered a violation under New York Labor Law §240.

An employee of a subcontractor brought an action against the building owner, the owner’s manager, the construction manager and other subcontractors, alleging violations under New York Labor Law §240, §241 and §200. The New York Supreme Court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, dismissing the plaintiff’s Labor Law §240 claim. The plaintiff appealed the decision to the New York Appellate Division, First Department. The appellate court affirmed the decision dismissing the Labor Law §240 claim because the gang box lid that fell on the plaintiff was not a material that required hoisting or securing. Additionally, the court found that the struts of the gang box, which were missing, did not constitute a “safety device” as contemplated by Labor Law §240. The court determined that the gang box lid was a routine workplace risk. 

This case demonstrates that the New York courts will not allow any and all cases involving falling objects to be applicable to New York Labor Law §240.

Case Law Alerts, 1st Quarter, January 2023 is prepared by Marshall Dennehey to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2032 Marshall Dennehey, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.