Fall of a Heavy Rail from a Two- To Three-Foot Stack Was an Elevation-Related Event
The First Department determined the fall of a heavy rail from a stack two to three feet high was an elevation-related event within the meaning of the Labor Law:
We agree with the motion court’s finding that the pile of rails that were stacked two and one-half to three feet high was not de minimis, given the approximately 1500 pound weight of the rail and “the amount of force it was capable of generating, even over the course of a relatively short descent” … . The harm plaintiff suffered was the direct consequence of the application of the force of gravity to the rail that struck plaintiff … .
“What is essential to a conclusion that an object requires securing is that it present a foreseeable elevation risk in light of the work being undertaken” … . It was foreseeable that during hoisting, a crane could strike the stacked pile of rails causing it to fall …, and therefore, the rail that struck plaintiff was an object that required securing for the purposes of the undertaking … . We are not persuaded by the City’s contention that plaintiff failed to identify a necessary and expected safety device, as plaintiff demonstrated that the City could have used secure braces, stays, or even additional lines to stabilize the stacked rails … . Jordan v City of New York, 2015 NY Slip Op 02565, 1st Dept 3-26-15