New York Labor Law Section 240 deals with workers who work (often in construction-related jobs) on an elevated surface. The law provides legal protection to these types of contractors who work on, “scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection to a person” (NY Code § 240).

In a recent case as reported by the New York Law Journal on April 2, 2015, an electrician was on a 24-foot extension ladder when he fell. He felt the base slipping. Then, extension ladder broke in two. The top part, the extension, fell off of the lower part of the ladder and the electrician fell.

It was decided that this ladder was the only one of those available from the man’s employer on the day of the accident that was long enough to reach the height he needed to reach in order to complete the job. The employer, the realty company, blamed the electrician for using the ladder in the manner he did, but the court was not convinced this was the only cause, or “sole proximate cause,” of the accident. There was not an “appropriate” ladder available made available by the realty company in the first place.

Each side in court, the electrician and employer real estate company, wanted to be awarded summary judgment. This would establish who was factually liable for the accident. The court found that the worker’s negligence in using the ladder in the manner he did was not enough to prove that the only factor in causing the accident. The court decided to award summary judgment to the injured electrician. This meant that his claim, that he was not responsible for causing the accident, was upheld with no factual issues. Now, the man may be able to sue for monetary compensation for damages including lost wages or medical costs related to the injury.

If you have been injured in an accident, then you should seek medical attention and consult with an experienced lawyer. A lawyer can bring forth a lawsuit using the correct statute, representing you throughout the entire process in hopes of obtaining a large monetary award. Jayson Lutzky has over 31 years of practicing law in New York. His Bronx office is just one block from the 4-train. If you have been injured in an accident, then set up a free in-person consultation. If you are seriously injured, then home and hospital visits are available. Call 718-514-6619 to set up an appointment and visit to learn more about Mr. Lutzky.