Labor Law 240 (1) Concerns Only Whether Proper Safety Equipment Was Provided—Comparative Negligence Is Not Relevant
The First Department determined plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment under Labor Law 240 (1) for injury incurred while using the top half of an extension ladder which did not have rubber feet. The court noted that contributory or comparative negligence is not a defense to a Labor Law 240 (1) cause of action:
Plaintiff presented evidence establishing that defendants did not provide “proper protection” within the meaning of Labor Law § 240(1). The record indicates that plaintiff “only saw the extension ladder” in the area where he was working. There was no scaffolding available to plaintiff. Plaintiff was not wearing a safety harness, and there was no appropriate anchor point to tie off the ladder.
We reject defendants’ assertion that plaintiff’s conduct was the sole proximate cause of his injuries. Plaintiff’s knowing use of half of the extension ladder without proper rubber footings goes to his culpable conduct and comparative negligence. Comparative negligence is not a defense to a claim based on Labor Law § 240(1), where, as here, defendants failed to provide adequate safety devices … . Further, defendants failed to show that plaintiff refused to use the safety devices that were provided to him. Stankey v Tishman Constr. Corp. of N.Y., 2015 NY Slip Op 06643, 1st Dept 8-25-15