The Second Department determined defendants’ motion for summary judgment on the Labor Law 240(1) cause of action, alleging injury from a falling piece of sheetrock, was properly granted. The sheetrock in question was stored against a wall and was not being hoisted at the time of the incident. [The extensive decision demonstrates the complexity of Labor Law actions as it addresses Labor Law 241(6) and Labor Law 200 causes of action, indemnification issues and the liability of agents and general contractors.] With respect to the Labor Law 240(1) cause of action, the court wrote:
“In order to prevail on summary judgment in a section 240(1) falling object’ case, the injured worker must demonstrate the existence of a hazard contemplated under that statute and the failure to use, or the inadequacy of, a safety device of the kind enumerated therein'” … . “Essentially, the plaintiff must demonstrate that at the time the object fell, it either was being hoisted or secured, or required securing for the purposes of the undertaking” … . “[F]or section 240 (1) to apply, a plaintiff must show more than simply that an object fell causing injury to a worker. A plaintiff must show that the object fell . . . because of the absence or inadequacy of a safety device of the kind enumerated in the statute” … .
However, Labor Law § 240(1) “does not apply in situations in which a hoisting or securing device of the type enumerated in the statute would not be necessary or expected” … . Here, the sheetrock, which was being stored against a wall, was not a material being hoisted or a load that required securing for the purposes of the undertaking at the time it fell … , nor was it expected, under the circumstances of this case, that the sheetrock would require securing for the purposes of the undertaking at the time it fell … . Seales v Trident Structural Corp., 2016 NY Slip Op 06204, 2nd Dept 9-28-16
LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW (FALLING SHEETROCK DID NOT SUPPORT A LABOR LAW 240(1) CAUSE OF ACTION)/FALLING OBJECTIONS (LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW, FALLING SHEETROCK DID NOT SUPPORT A LABOR LAW 240(1) CAUSE OF ACTION)