On June 29, 2016 a New York Appellate Court held that New York State's Labor Law Section 240 (1) (known as the scaffold law) imposes absolute liability on owners and contractors for failing to provide safety devices necessary to protect workers from the risks of working at elevated work sites who are injured as a result of unsafe practices. The Court found that although the worker "was provided with a ladder, as required by the statute, the ladder was not secured so as to prevent it and him from falling.... Since the plaintiff was provided with only an unsecured ladder and no safety devices, the plaintiff cannot be held solely at fault for his injuries."
This ruling means that even though the worker may have been partially at fault, unless he was the sole cause of his own accident, he will still recover 100% of whatever money damages the jury awards.Accordingly, the worker was granted summary judgment and the case will be scheduled for a trial on damages to determine - not whether he recovers a sum of money--but how much. Baugh v New York City School Construction Authority, Appellate Division, Second Department. Construction workers who fall from unsecured ladders, typically involve not only a straight ladder, but A-frame ladders that are kept closed and leaning against a wall. It is the duty of owners and contractors to provide a method to secure those ladders to prevent catastrophic injuries to their workers.