Scaffold Law News Blog
- 11 Dec 2012
A letter calling for Scaffold Law reform by Tom Stebbins, Executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, was recently published in the Utica Observer-Dispatch. Stebbins noted that efforts to rebuild the state's infrastructure and economy are hampered by the burdensome and unnecessary Scaffold Law.
"Among the most onerous laws is Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, which automatically holds contractors and property owners fully liable in lawsuits for elevation-related accidents, even if the worker was intoxicated or ignoring safety training. Not surprisingly, New York is the only state to have such a law.
Labor Law 240 is the reason construction insurance rates in New York are the highest in the nation by over 300 percent, which drives up the development costs and keeps firms from hiring new workers. In many cases, companies have been forced to lay off workers or turn down projects because of liability costs. And consumers pay for those higher insurance rates. Estimates suggest the Scaffold Law adds about $10,000 to the cost of building just one new home in New York."
Read the full letter here:
- 08 Nov 2012
The Second Department of the Supreme Court Appellate Division recently ruled in Parker v. 205-209 East 57th Street Associates, LLC, that a defendant development company was not liable under the labor law sections 240(1) (Scaffold Law) and 241(6)for injuries sustained by a worker who fell from an open doorway.
According to the brief, “The plaintiff, a roofer, was allegedly injured when he fell after stepping through a doorway which was several feet above the level of the lower roof of the building on which he was working. A metal grate was usually placed on the other side of the doorway, so that after opening the door workers could walk across the grate to a set of stairs, and then walk down the stairs onto the lower roof. However, on the date of the incident the grate had been removed, so that the door opened onto an empty space between the doorway and the stairs.”
In unanimously granting summary judgment to the defendants on the Scaffold Law claim, the court ruled that the absence of the temporary walkway did not constitute a failure to provide proper safety equipment as required under the law, and noted the plaintiff’s claim was “without merit.”