DEFENSE SUMMARY JUDGMENT DENIED AGAINST N.Y.S. LABOR LAW CLAIM OF WORKER WHO FELL FROM SCAFFOLD MISSING ATTACHED LADDER

Court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York

Case: Gheorghe Nechifor v. RH Atlantic_Pacific LLC

Date: Feb. 14, 2012

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Queens; Queens injury attorney)

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RELATED POSTS:

ACCIDENT VICTIM WINS SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON LABOR LAW CLAIM FOR FALLING WHILE CLIMBING DOWN TREE TO EXIT SCAFFOLD(Posted by Brooklyn injury attorney Gary E. Rosenberg on Jan 28, 2012)

CONSTRUCTION WORKER FALLS OFF SCISSOR LIFT; WINS LIABILITY SUMMARY JUDGMENT UNDER NEW YORK LABOR LAW(Posted by Brooklyn injury attorney Gary E. Rosenberg on Feb 23, 2012)

ACCIDENT VICTIM FELL IN HOLE IN BASEMENT WHILE FILLING IT WITH CONCRETE HAS NO LABOR LAW CLAIM; DEFENSE GRANTED SUMMARY JUDGMENT(Posted by Brooklyn injury attorney Gary E. Rosenberg on Jan 13, 2012)

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Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Jane S. Solomon, J.), entered June 28, 2011, which granted plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability on his Labor Law Sec. 240(1) claim, granted his motion to amend the complaint to increase the ad damnum clause from $5 million to $10 million, and denied defendants' cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the section 240(1) cause of action, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff fell approximately 12 feet as he attempted to descend from the top of a scaffold by climbing down the side frame of the scaffold. Plaintiff made a prima facie showing of defendants' liability under section 240(1) by showing that defendants failed to provide the ladder that was supposed to be attached to the scaffold, and that such failure was a proximate cause of the accident (see Auriemma v. Biltmore Theatre, LLC, 82 A.D.3d 1, 9-10, 917 N.Y.S.2d 130 [2011]).

In opposition, defendants failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether plaintiff's own acts or omissions constituted the sole proximate cause of the accident. Even assuming that plaintiff knew that a ladder or other appropriate safety devices were readily available to him, there is no evidence that plaintiff knew that he was expected to use the safety devices for the assigned task (see Gallagher v. New York Post, 14 N.Y.3d 83, 88_89, 896 N.Y.S.2d 732, 923 N.E.2d 1120 [2010]).

The motion court providently exercised its discretion in granting the motion to increase the ad damnum clause (see CPLR 3025[b]). Defendants are not prejudiced by the proposed amendment (see Loomis v. Civetta Corinno Constr. Corp., 54 N.Y.2d 18, 23, 444 N.Y.S.2d 571, 429 N.E.2d 90 [1981]).

We have considered defendants' remaining arguments and find them unavailing.

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