The First Department determined the alleged violation of Labor Law 27-a(3)(a)(1) was sufficient to support an action by firefighters against the City pursuant to General Municipal Law 205-a. Firefighters were injured and killed jumping from a building without personal ropes. The failure to provide personal ropes is the basis of the suit. Governmental immunity did not bar the suit:
The City unavailingly contends that Labor Law § 27-a(3)(a)(1) cannot provide a valid predicate for any General Municipal Law § 205-a claim. However, the statute, known as the Public Employee Safety and Health Act (PESHA), which imposes a general duty on an employer to provide employees with “employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to its employees and which will provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, safety or health of its employees” (Labor Law § 27-a[a]), is sufficient since it is ” a well-developed body of law and regulation that imposes clear duties'” … .
Moreover, the City failed to “show that it did not negligently violate any relevant government provision or that, if it did, the violation did not directly or indirectly cause plaintiff’s injuries” … . There is evidence, including testimony and an investigative report, that the failure to issue personal ropes to the firefighters contributed to the injuries and deaths suffered when the firefighters jumped from windows using either no safety devices or a single rope that had been independently purchased by one of the firefighters. The City is also not entitled to dismissal of these claims pursuant to governmental function immunity, since the evidence concerning the removal of existing personal ropes in 2000, and the failure to provide new ropes in the period of more than four years from then until the fire giving rise to these claims, raises issues of fact concerning whether the absence of ropes “actually resulted from discretionary decision-making — i.e., the exercise of reasoned judgment which could typically produce different acceptable results” … . Stolowski v 234 E 178th St LLC, 2015 NY Slip Op 01732, 1st Dept 3-3-15