New York City is known for its beautiful skyline. That distinct skyline wouldn’t be there without the hard work of the state’s construction workers. Unfortunately, this type of work sometimes brings about workplace accidents. The State of New York takes the issue of construction site safety very seriously. In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, it stated that city records show 237 construction accidents with eight people killed in the last year which is the most since 2007.

The New York Labor Law, NY Code Section 240 is also widely known as New York’s Scaffolding Law. It has been a law since 1885 when the city skyscrapers were first being built. What does this mean exactly? Under this law, both property owners and contractors are liable for most of the “gravity-related” injuries to workers on construction sites throughout the state. These types of injuries are from accidents stemming from the use of things such as scaffolding, stilts, pulleys, ropes and ladders.

Lawsuits involving New York Labor Law, NY Code Section 240 is commonly used throughout the state. However, there are only two defenses that are recognized by the state judicial system. These two causes of action are (1) sole proximate cause, and (2) recalcitrant worker, and they both have the same basic concept. If the construction worker, or plaintiff’s, injuries are solely from his or her failure to follow the construction site’s safety procedures and use equipment that is readily available to them, then the plaintiff will not win the case.

For a plaintiff to win this type of lawsuit, the defendant(s) must be able to prove that the accident was solely caused by the plaintiff’s unsafe conduct. Keep in mind that this is true for any type of gravity-related injury that could have been sustained on the construction site.

If you have been injured on an elevated surface at work, then you should seek immediate medical treatment. Next, you should consult with a lawyer who may be able to help you obtain compensation for your injury or injuries that may include money for lost wages, past pain and suffering and future pain and suffering, and medical bills. Jayson Lutzky is a lawyer with over 31  years of New York legal experience. He offers free in person consultations in his conveniently located Bronx office. If you are in the hospital or are home-bound, then hospital or home visits area available. Call 718-514-6619 to set up your free initial in person consultation. Visit to learn more about Mr. Lutzky.