Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The homeowner's exemption under the Labor Law.

Practice point:  The exemption to liability under § 240(1) is available to owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work. Here, it was undisputed that the defendant's home where the accident occurred is a single-family private residence. The defendant also submitted the parties' deposition testimony and her affidavit establishing, prima facie, that she did not direct or control the method or manner of the work. The defendant's involvement was merely a retention of the limited power of general supervision, and was no more extensive than would be expected of the typical homeowner who hired a contractor to renovate his or her home. The defendant did not lose the protection of the statutory exemption by furnishing the ladder, bleach, and hose.

Student note:  Labor Law § 240(1) imposes a nondelegable duty upon owners and contractors to provide safety devices necessary for workers subjected to elevation-related risks in circumstances specified by the statute. To recover, the plaintiff must have been engaged in a covered activity, namely, the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure.

Case:  DiMaggio v. Cataletto, NY Slip Op 03795 (2d Dept. 2014)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue: The application of laches in a real property dispute.