Scaffold Law Reform News
Here's why New Yorkers are Fired Up Over Scaffolding Liability
- Published on 17 September 2014
Today in Property Casualty 360*. Joseph Jaafari highlights the ongoing battle over the Scaffold Law.
Insurance companies and construction businesses are in open war with trial lawyers and labor unions over New York’s 129-year-old “Scaffold Law,” which institutes absolute liability on contractors if an employee is injured or killed on the job.
The law, put in place in 1885, was drafted to protect construction workers in high-elevation situations (at the time the tallest skyscraper in New York City was a 281-foot spire at Wall Street’s Trinity Church), and made contractors liable in gravity-related accidents, such as falling from a platform.
Over the past few decades, the law has seen a number of reforms by courts who have included falling objects and required safety implementations, but it’s also put into place a number of safeguards for construction companies that had feared employees could get a pass by filing a lawsuit and reaping millions, such as requiring workers to prove that an accident was safety-related.
Astorino's Remedy for New York's Economic Woes
- Published on 20 August 2014
In today's New York Post, the editorial board highlights New York republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's jobs plan. High on the list? You guessed it - Scaffold Law Reform.
There’s hope for New York’s economy yet — and you can find it in the jobs plan Rob Astorino presented Tuesday.
The Republican candidate for governor believes lower taxes, fewer government rules and mandates, fracking and investment in roads and bridges can help reverse the state’s economic woes.
It’s a refreshing change. And there’s good reason to believe it can work, whoever’s governor.
Face it: New York’s economy has stagnated, particularly outside the city. Year after year, rating groups list us as one of the worst states in which to do business and place our economic prospects at the bottom. For much of Upstate, conditions long ago became desperate.
Here’s what Astorino proposes:
Regulatory reform: Ban any new rules and review those on the books. He’d also repeal the Scaffold Law, a costly, outdated gift to lawyers that’s unique to New York.
Lower taxes: Cut or roll back state spending, make the property-tax cap permanent and repeal “hidden taxes on health-insurance premiums.”