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Labor Law Decision for Defendants Upheld by Second Department N.Y.L.J. – May 24, 2019

May 31, 2019 • Posted By Joseph A. French • Labor & Employment

Jonathan Clark v. FC Yonkers Associates, LLC

                       Plaintiffs sued the defendants amid allegations that the defendants’ violations of Labor Law §§200 and 240(1) were the cause of his injuries.  The trial Court dismissed the causes of action brought under those sections.

             On appeal, the Second Department affirmed the trial Court.

             Plaintiff was a supervisor for a general contractor.  Plaintiff was injured when he tried to throw a hose 15-20 feet above him.  The hose was to provide a water supply for the fireproofing of the retail space.

             “The defendants established their prima facia entitlement to judgment as a matter of law dismissing the cause of action alleging a violation of Labor Law §200 by demonstrating that the accident at issue was the result of the means and methods of the plaintiff’s work, that the plaintiff’s work was directed and controlled by his employer, and that the defendants had no authority to exercise control over his work (see Kusayev v. Sussex Apts. Assoc. LLC, 163 A.D.3d 943; Messing v. City of New York, 147 A.D.3d 748)”. 

             As to the Labor Law §240(1) claim, i.e. “strict liability on building owners and contractors for failure to provide proper protection against elevation-related hazards”.  The Court noted that, although “the accident tangentially involved elevation, it was not caused by any elevation-related risk contemplated by the statute (see Rodrigues v. Margaret Tietz Ctr. for Nursing Care, 84 N.Y2d 841; Parker v. Ariel Assoc. Corp, 19 A.D.3d 670; Zduncyk v. Ginther, 15 A.D.3d 574”.

             We believe the Court’s affirmation of the lower Court’s summary judgment decision, was correct particularly in regard to the Labor Law §240(1) claim.

  Joseph A. French