The First Department determined plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment on his Labor Law 240(1) cause of action. Plaintiff, McCrea, was repairing an elevator when it fell on him. The court explained the relevant law, including the criteria for demonstrating an injured worker's actions were the sole proximate cause of the injury:
The evidence here establishes that at the time of the accident, McCrea was engaged in “repair” work because the elevator's safety shoes were not operating properly, and the condition was an isolated event, unrelated to normal wear and tear … . In addition, the elevator was a “falling object” within the meaning of the Labor Law, even though it was not actually being hoisted or secured at the time of the accident, because it required securing for the purpose of McCrea's repair work … .
As plaintiff was engaged in activity protected by Labor Law § 240(1) at the time of the incident, Arnlie, as owner of the building, is subject to absolute liability for injuries which resulted from its failure to provide plaintiff with proper safety devices …, without regard to the comparative fault of plaintiff … . Where the worker is the sole proximate cause of the injury, however, the premises owner will not be liable … . “[T]o raise a triable issue of fact as to whether a plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of an accident, the defendant must produce evidence that adequate safety devices were available, that the plaintiff knew that they were available and was expected to use them, and that the plaintiff unreasonably chose not to do so, causing the injury sustained” … .
Here, there is no indication that plaintiff refused or misused available safety equipment. McCrea v Arnlie Realty Co. LLC, 2016 NY Slip Op 04330, 1st Dept 6-7-16
LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW (BUILDING OWNER LIABLE UNDER LABOR LAW 240(1) FOR INJURY CAUSED BY FALLING ELEVATOR)/ELEVATORS (BUILDING OWNER LIABLE UNDER LABOR LAW 240(1) FOR INJURY CAUSED BY FALLING ELEVATOR)