Summary Judgment on Labor Law Granted in Favor of Worker Injured While Avoiding Fall off Ladder

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

Case: Lopez-Dones v. 601 West Associates, LLC

Date: Aug. 1, 2012

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

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Facts: The New York State Labor Law protects construction workers from elevation-related accidents. Typical are falls from heights -- such as ladders or scaffolds -- or "falling object" cases.

This case is slightly different. Here, the accident-victim was hurt while trying to prevent herself from falling off a ladder.

On June 1, 2005 the plaintiff was working on a "pull box" at the defendants' premises as an apprentice electrician. The pull box was hanging down from the ceiling; she pulled over an A-frame ladder to work on.

While working on the ladder, an unknown worker bumped the ladder while wheeling a dolly past it. The ladder tipped and struck air conditioning duct work,. The accident victim twisted and grabbed a metal bar and was able to avoid falling, but she wrenched her back.

Held: The N.Y.S. Labor Law applies where an accident victim is injured while attempting to avoid falling from a ladder. She is granted summary judgment in her favor on her Labor Law claims against the defendants.

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