The New York Appellate Division, First Department held that there are triable issues of fact relating to a Labor Law § 240 claim involving injuries occurring on the ground floor.
The plaintiff, a security system installer, attempted to move a stack of sheetrock boards leaning against a wall because they were pinching the security wires. The sheetrock boards ended up falling on the plaintiff. The plaintiff sued the property owner, Touro, and other parties for personal injuries and claimed Labor Law § 240 violation. Touro moved for summary judgment to dismiss the § 240 claim. The Supreme Court, Bronx County, granted Touro’s motion, which was subsequently appealed. The New York Appellate Division, First Department found that there were triable issues of fact as to whether Labor Law § 240 was applicable due to the lack of safety devices causing the incident. The court found triable issues of fact involving the lack of safety devices despite the fact that the plaintiff was located on the same floor of the sheetrock and the sheetrock was not being hoisted or secured.
This case demonstrates that the New York courts will be flexible and open-minded when determining whether a Labor Law § 240 claim not involving a gravity-related incident could withstand a defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
Case Law Alerts, 4th Quarter, October 2022 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 © 2022 Marshall Dennehey, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.