A New York Construction Accident Lawyer Who Represents Injured Workers Tracking Developments in Construction Accident Law.

The Court of Appeals yesterday expanded the reach of Labor Law section 240(1), the controversial Scaffold Law in New York.

The decision, Runner v. New York Stock Exchange, held that the protections of the law extended to a set of facts that did not involve either a falling worker or a falling object striking a worker – the two typical categories of 240(1) cases.

Victor Runner was injured while he and fellow workers held a rope attached to an 800-lb reel of wire and acted as counterweights to it while it was lowered down a set of stairs. The reel pulled the plaintiff and he injured his hands against a metal bar that was part of the lowering mechanism.

Chief Judge Lippman wrote for a unanimous panel that:

The relevant inquiry-one which may be answered in the affirmative even in situations where the object does not fall on the worker–is rather whether the harm flows directly from the application of the force of gravity to the object. Here, as the District Court correctly found, the harm to plaintiff was the direct consequence of the application of the force of gravity to the reel. Indeed, the injury to plaintiff was every bit as direct a consequence of the descent of the reel as would have been an injury to a worker positioned in the descending reel’s path. The latter worker would certainly be entitled to recover under section 240(1) and there appears no sensible basis to deny plaintiff the same legal recourse.   

One Response to “Court of Appeals Expands Labor Law 240(1), the Scaffold Law”

  1. […] issued by the Court of Appeals in Dec. 2009 that greatly expanded section 240(1). Click here to see a discussion of that […]

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