In accordance with the Mian v. City of New York case cited in our earlier article, Construction Manager Liability for Worksite Accidents Under NY Law, in Gaspar v. LC Main, et al., a New York County trial court held that a worksite safety consultant cannot be held liable under Labor Law §§ 200, 240(1) and 241(6) for a worker's construction accident-related injuries.

The Court's reasoning for granting the safety consultant's motion to dismiss was fairly straightforward:

"With respect to supervision and control, "'[i]t is well settled that an implicit precondition to th[e] duty [to maintain a safe construction site] is that the party to be charged with that obligation" 'have the authority to control the activity bringing about the injury to enable it to avoid or correct an unsafe condition'." Hughes v. Tishman Constr. Corp., 40 AD3d 305, 306 (1st Dept 2007).

"The Appellate Division, First Department, has held that this rule will bar claims against a safety consultant where the safety consultant 'was not the supplier of safety equipment to the job site, did not direct, supervise or control plaintiff or his coworkers in the performance of their duties, and there is no evidence that it acted negligently or otherwise unreasonably as the site safety consultant.'

When you take a step back, this rule makes an awful lot of sense; why should a safety consultant with no say in what the plaintiff does - or doesn't do - at a worksite be held liable if something goes wrong?
Jonathan Cooper
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