Quirk & Bakalor


New York Court of Appeals Expands Application of Labor Law §240

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Owners and contractors are reminded again by the New York Court of Appeals of the importance of provision and use of appropriate safety devices for workers during the construction, renovation or alteration of premises in New York State. Recently, in response to two certified questions from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, has held that §240 of the New York Labor Law applied where a worker’s injuries were caused directly from “the application of the force of gravity to the object.” Runner v. New York Stock Exchange, Inc., 2009 WL 4840213 (N.Y. Dec. 17, 2009). Labor Law §240 had previously been held by the Court of Appeals to apply strict liability for worker injuries under the “falling worker” or “falling object.” Now the Court has expanded potential liability pursuant to Labor Law §240 to risks from worksite elevation differentials...