On January 25, 2018, an appellate court covering Manhattan upheld the decision of a Judge finding that a property owner was responsible as a matter of law for the injuries suffered by an electrician who was struck in the head by an electrical transformer that fell on his head. Labor Law 240 (1) was enacted to protect workers from the dangers related to the effects of gravity. This law requires owners of property and contractors to provide protective devices to avoid workers being injured by falls and falling objects.
The plaintiff and a co-worker testified that they were not provided with any safety devices to protect them while while working on the suspended transformer. The only defense available to the defendant's was to argue that the plaintiff was the sole cause of his accident because he failed to follow proper safety precautions. This defense didn't persuade the Court to allow a jury to decide the liability issue.Though the defendant's foreman swore he gave specific safety instructions to the plaintiff on how to properly support the transformer, the foreman didn't know whether the plaintiff was standing close enough to him to hear those instructions. Therefore, the Court agreed that the defendant had violated the Labor Law. Gericitano v Brookfield Properties, 2018 WL 541834