Chuppah Deemed a "Structure" Under NY Labor Law, Says Appeals Court
It is often interesting, if not disconcerting, when law and religion become intertwined. Yet that is precisely what happened in a case that was recently decided by one of New York's appellate courts wherein a worker sued to recover for the injuries he sustained while dismantling a "chuppah," or bridal canopy.
Since the plaintiff's theory of liability against the defendants was predicated on NY Labor Law Section 240(1), meaning that he was injured as the result of an elevation-related hazard (for more on this topic, please see "How to Prove a Construction Site Accident Case in NY"), the court was required to pass upon whether a chuppah constitutes an elevation-related hazard within the statutory scheme.
In unanimously affirming the lower court's decision that found the plaintiff could recover under this theory, the Court held as follows:
"The chuppah here is more akin to the things and devices which the courts of this state have recognized as structures than to the things and devices that have not been recognized as structures."
Note to caterers and wedding halls: make sure the workers putting up and dismantling your wedding canopies have adequate and appropriate safety devices.
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