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

What if a construction worker injured in a fall from a ladder, scaffold or other safety device was at fault for placing the device in an unsafe location? Will he still have a case?

The answer is: yes, the worker can still recover the full amount of damages.

On October 2, 2009, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, held that: “Even assuming, arguendo, that defendant is correct that claimant was negligent in his placement of the scaffold …, we conclude that those actions render him merely contributorily negligent, a defense unavailable under section 240(1).”

Only if a worker is deemed the “sole proximate cause” of his accident–meaning, he disobeyed instructions to use safety devices or his fall was in no way caused by a defective safety device–will a worker be barred from a recovery.

Thus, workers who make a mistake resulting in a falling accident in the state of New York should not labor under the false belief that they do not have a case.

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