In case you were ever wondering whether a property owner can be held liable if they lend equipment, such as a ladder, to a worker, and then that worker sustains a worksite injury resulting from his use of that borrowed eqiupment, New York's Appellate Division has now unequivocally provided the answer: yes - under the right circumstances.

In its July 20 decision in Navarro v. City of New York, a worker borrowed the New York City school's ladder in order to retrieve one of his work tools that had fallen between some window grates, and then when using that ladder, he fell due to the allegedly defective condition of the ladder. In reversing the trial court's ruling that dismissed his case that was premised on NY Labor Law 200, the Appellate Court held as follows:

"Where, as here, the accident arises not from the methods or manner of the work, but from a dangerous premises condition, "a property owner is liable under Labor Law § 200 when the owner created the dangerous condition causing an injury or when the owner failed to remedy a dangerous or defective condition of which he or she had actual or constructive notice" (Chowdhury v Rodriguez, 57 AD3d 121, 128; see Schultz v Hi-Tech Constr. & Mgt. Servs., Inc., 69 AD3d 701; Artoglou v Gene Scappy Realty Corp., 57 AD3d 460). Moreover, "when a defendant property owner lends allegedly dangerous or defective equipment to a worker that causes injury during its use, the defendant moving for summary judgment must establish that it neither created the alleged danger or defect in the instrumentality nor had actual or constructive notice of the dangerous or defective condition" (Chowdhury v Rodriguez, 57 AD3d at 131-132)."

Jonathan Cooper
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Non-Compete, Trade Secret and School Negligence Lawyer
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