Plaintiff established his entitlement to partial summary judgment on his Labor Law § 240(1) claim through witnesses' testimony that the ladder from which he was descending suddenly kicked out to the left, resulting in his fall. Contrary to the motion court's finding, plaintiff was not required to demonstrate that the ladder was defective in order to satisfy his prima facie burden.
In opposition, defendants failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of the accident. Plaintiff was not responsible for setting up the ladder, and there was no testimony establishing the existence of any other readily available, adequate safety devices at the work site. In addition, given the undisputed testimony that the ladder kicked out because it was unsecured, the testimony that plaintiff unsafely descended from the ladder by carrying pipe fittings in his arms established, at most, contributory negligence, a defense inapplicable to a § 240(1) claim.
Case: Fletcher v. Brookfield Props., NY Slip Op 08105 (1st Dep't December 1, 2016)
Here is the decision.
Monday's issue: A motion for leave to renew.