A New York appeals court ruled Sept. 27 that a worker who fell from a roof deserved summary judgment on his Labor Law claim since the employer didn’t provide a proper tie-off for fall protection.
The appeals court said the worker had established his right to summary judgment with evidence that he wasn’t provided with a means to properly tie-off his fall PPE when the incident occurred.
Michael Yocum was working as a roofer for the U.S. Tennis Association. Yocum fell from a sloped portion of the roof and was injured. The date of the injury wasn’t disclosed in the appeals court decision.
Yocum filed a lawsuit under New York Labor Law, claiming the company didn’t provide a safe worksite since it failed to provide adequate safety devices for workers. Specifically, Yocum claimed there was no fall protection system in place for him to tie-off to with his fall PPE.
Company claimed fall was worker’s fault
In court, Yocum requested summary judgment in his favor, but it was initially denied because the company claimed Yocum’s fall was his fault.
The appeals court disagreed, finding the company failed to:
- raise a triable issue of fact regarding Yocum being the sole source for his injuries
- prove there was a fall protection system installed on the roof prior to the date of Yocum’s injury, and
- prove that it would have trained Yocum on the fall protection system, even if one would have been in place.
For these reasons, the appeals court reversed the prior decision and granted Yocum summary judgment on his claim.