Many people in the construction trades are familiar with Labor Law 240 (1) which imposes liability on the building owner and general contractor for a height related accident. However, there is another statute which also allows recovery and is very useful in a construction accident case.
If you have been injured in a construction accident, please call me at 800-851-1434.
Labor Law 241 (6) imposes liability on the land owner and general contractor for an unsafe work condition which is a violation of the state’s Industrial Code. Ordinarily, the owner might not be liable for a construction accident if the owner has no control over the work site. Generally, the owner is out of possession and control during the construction project.
For example, assume that the client, working for the general contractor, slips and falls on water. The Industrial Code directs that the work place’s floor be free and debris and not be slippery. The presence of water, which should have not been on the floor, may impose liability on the owner even though the owner had no control over the work site.
In another case the worker falls on debris left on the floor. The Industrial Code mandates that the floors be kept free of debris. Therefore, the owner and general contract0r would be liable.
Construction defendants fight liability under Labor Law 241 (6). For example, we had a case where a supervisor slipped on a freshly painted surface. There was no warning sign of wet paint. The joist was painted by another contractor. The joist should not have been painted at that point in the work. We claimed that the owner was liable under Labor Law 241 (6). We claimed that the flooring was unduly slippery in violation of the Labor Law. The owner conceded that even if the paint were wet, liability would not be imposed under the statute because “slipperiness” is inherent in the work, i.e., painting a floor surface. The issue was not tested in court in our case since we achieved an excellent settlement.
In many cases an accident may involve both Labor Law 240 (1) and 241 (6). See our prior articles on Labor Law 240 (1), such as “Getting a Maximum Recovery from Construction Accidents; After the Cranes Collapsed–Now, More than Ever, Construction Workers Need Protection.”
We have handled many construction cases. If you have been injured in a construction accident, please call me at 800-581-1434.
Mark E. Seitelman, 12/29/08, www.seitelman.com.