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Brooklyn Court Awards Judgment to Injured Construction Worker on Labor Law 240 Claim


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3/22/2010
Jonathan Cooper
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In Maximin v. 26-26 Jackson Avenue LLC, a decision from a trial judge in Kings County that is scheduled to be published in tomorrow's edition of the New York Law Journal, the plaintiff construction worker sued to recover for the personal injuries he suffered when a cinder block fell from the top of an elevator shaft and landed on his back while he was in the process of clearing debris from the lift in the elevator shaft.

Predictably. the plaintiff sought summary judgment pursuant to New York Labor Law §240(1) on the grounds that he was injured by a "falling object" (i.e., a gravity-related risk), and as a direct result of the defendants' failure to properly secure the cinder blocks. In opposition to the motion, the defendants made an interesting argument, claiming that Labor Law §240(1) only protects workers against objects that fall while being hoisted or secured - and the cinder blocks in this case did not fall into either category.

The Court was unpersuaded by this argument, however.

According to the trial court, "falling object" liability under Labor Law §240(1) is not solely limited to objects that are in the process of being hoisted or secured; rather, this statute covers objects that require securing as well. Consequently, the Court held that the defendant was not absolved from responsibility under this section when the plaintiff's injuries were caused - even in part - by the defendant's failure to furnish the statutorily required safety measures.

A careful reading of this decision also yields an important tip to the New York construction site accident attorney: the plaintiff prevailed on this branch of the motion because he proved that the defendant lacked a safety device to secure the cinder blocks in question. For additional information on this topic, I suggest you read "How to Prove a Construction Site Accident Case in New York."


Category: Construction Site Accidents


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