A construction worker was working at a basement extension project. The worker fell from a 6-foot-tall ladder mounted on top of a scaffold, landing on a concrete pit floor next to the scaffold. Client sustained injuries to several ribs, a shoulder, and his sternum. The worker sued the construction site’s owner, the state of New York, alleging violation of the New York State Labor Law Section 240 (1).
Under Labor Law Section 240(1), it is the responsibility of the employer and contractor to provide and comply with safety standards in order to protect workers using scaffolding. This heightened responsibly is intended to prevent deaths and injuries on construction sites due to the failure to provide construction workers with adequate protection to do their jobs. Owners and Contractors must ensure that all scaffolds are safely installed and workers are equipped with proper fall protection equipment.
In this case, the worker claimed that the ladder had been moved to a position on top of the scaffold and that it tipped while he was descending it. The worker further claimed that he had not been provided proper fall protection equipment such as a harness or any other means to tie off.
Hach & Rose, LLP, representing the worker, contended that the incident stemmed from an elevation-related hazard, as defined by Labor Law 240(1), and that client was not provided the proper safety equipment that is a requirement of the statute.
Defense counsel contended that client negligently positioned the ladder on top of the scaffold.
Worker received $800,000 settlement.