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

I’ve been researching and drafting a summary judgment based on a Labor Law 240(1) claim for some time now, and it has me scratching my head about the morass the New York courts have created in this field of case law. One decision comes out one way, and then another with nearly identical facts comes out another way.

And sometimes the Court of Appeals will make a prouncement in a single sentence in a decision, and then it will be taken out of context or misinterpreted by other courts, sending the jurisprudence hurtling in unintended directions.

There was a good article on the state of the Labor Law in the New York Law Journal written by David Scher, but I haven’t linked to it because it is password-protected for members only. Perhaps if you google for it you’ll get access some other way. That is, you’ll google it if you have a geeky interest in this area of law.

So, anyway, my case involves a temporary traffic light pole 20 feet high that was knocked over and fell on my client, a construction worker. The inquiry is whether it is a falling objection under section 240(1) that was not properly secured; it was mounted on a concrete base not affixed to the ground. It got knocked over when an excavator made contact with an overhead wire connected to it that was wrapped around the pole rather than secured with a detaching junction.

If this was a pipe that was being hoisted overhead and fell on my client, there would be much less case law for the defendants to rely on to refute my argument. Because the accident happened the way it did, the issue will not be as clear cut, though I still think I have a good claim.

In either case, the question arises, “what’s the difference?” Who cares if it is a pipe that falls while being hoisted, or a pole that topples over, so long as each was not properly secured and a worker was injured? But these are the technicalities that New York construction accident lawyers wrangle about on a daily basis….

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