A New York appeals court found that Labor Law provisions applied to an injured worker’s claim that was filed over a fall of 3 feet from an improvised plywood “scaffold.”
The Appellate Division, First Department affirmed a lower court decision granting the worker summary judgment on his lawsuit because liability under the Labor Law still applied despite the height of the fall.
‘Platform’ was plywood sheet covering bathtub
Walter Jonathan Contreras Flores was working at a jobsite controlled by contractor Exotic Design & Wire LLC.
A supervisor directed Flores to stand on a plywood sheet covering a bathtub while framing a window 3 feet above the floor.
As he was performing the task, the plywood sheet lifted, causing Flores to fall to the floor.
Flores filed a Labor Law claim and was granted summary judgment on May 19, 2022 after establishing to a lower court judge that his fall from the improvised platform caused his injury. The judge found that the improvised platform functioned similarly to a scaffold under the provisions of the Labor Law.
Exotic appealed the decision.
Height of fall didn’t matter under law
The Appellate Division, First Department agreed with the lower court that Flores established that his injury was directly caused by his fall from the improvised platform.
Further, that platform was the “functional equivalent of an elevated platform or scaffold” under the Labor Law.
According to the court, Exotic failed to rebut that fact and its claim that a fall from 3 feet rendered the statute inapplicable was incorrect.