Thursday, November 19, 2015

An injury resuting from an elevation-related risk.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division affirmed the granting of that branch of defendant's motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the cause of action alleging a violation of Labor Law § 240(1). Defendant established its prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law by demonstrating that plaintiff's injury was not caused by the elevation-related hazards encompassed by the statute. In opposition, plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether his injury arose from an elevation-related risk contemplated by the statute, rather than from the usual and ordinary dangers of the construction site. The fact that plaintiff was injured while lifting a heavy object does not give rise to liability within the meaning of the statute.

Student note:  The extraordinary protections of § 240(1) extend only to a narrow class of special hazards, and do not encompass any and all perils that may be connected in some tangential way with the effects of gravity.  The statute was designed to prevent accidents in which a protective device proved inadequate to shield the injured worker from harm directly flowing from the application of the force of gravity to an object or person.

Case:  Cardenas v. BBM Constr. Corp., NY Slip Op 08142 (2d Dept. 2015)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  Evidence of habit in a negligence case.