Earlier this week, an intermediate appellate court covering the Bronx, granted a pre-trial motion which declared that a painter who fell from a ladder should win the case as a matter of law. A jury trial will determine how much to compensate the victim. There is a strict worker safety rule in New York (Labor Law sections 200, 240 and 241) which requires the owner of a job site to provide a safe place to work. If that law is violated, the worker, who can't sue his employer, can sue the owner of the property. In some cases such as this, the injured worker can win his case long before the trial.
The painter was hired by a deli to paint an exterior sign. The deli owner supplied the painter with an A-frame ladder, paint and paint brushes. The deli owner even opened the ladder and placed it into position for the painter. Within a half hour the ladder shifted and the painter fell to the ground and "sustained fractured ribs and injuries to his back and right ankle requiring surgery." The appellate court reversed the lower court's decision to deny the painter's motion to declare the owner in violation of the Labor Law section 240(1). The appellate court explained that "a fall from an unsecured ladder establishes a violation of the statute." This is so even if the owner of the property was unaware of the work contracted for by his commercial tenant. Gonzalez v 1225 Ogden Deli Grocery, 2018 WL 1054745