he First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment on his Labor Law 240(1) cause of action. Plaintiff was injured when he fell descending from the top step of a six-foot A frame ladder. Plaintiff used the six-foot ladder because debris prevented the use of an eight-foot ladder (the eight-foot ladder could not opened due to the debris). Standing on the top step was not the sole proximate cause of the accident:
Denial of summary judgment on plaintiff’s claim pursuant to Labor Law § 240(1) was in error where plaintiff electrician was injured when he fell from an A-frame ladder as he was attempting to descend it. Plaintiff’s use of a six-foot ladder that required him to stand on the top step did not make him the sole proximate cause of his accident where the eight-foot ladder could not be opened in the space due to the presence of construction debris … . Defendants’ reliance on the affidavit of the high-rise superintendent is misplaced. Although the superintendent speculated that there was sufficient space to open an eight-foot ladder, this was inconsistent with his prior deposition testimony and was thus calculated to create a feigned issue of fact … .
Nor was plaintiff a recalcitrant worker … . While the site safety manager who worked for a subcontractor of defendants testified that she told plaintiff that he should not work in the room because it was unsafe due to all the debris, she explicitly denied that she directed plaintiff to stop work, explaining that she had no such authority. Saavedra v 89 Park Ave. LLC, 2016 NY Slip Op 06974, 1st Dept 10-25-16
LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW (STANDING ON THE TOP STEP OF AN A FRAME LADDER WAS NOT THE SOLE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF THE PLAINTIFF’S FALL; SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON THE LABOR LAW 240(1) CAUSE OF ACTION SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED)/LADDERS (STANDING ON THE TOP STEP OF AN A FRAME LADDER WAS NOT THE SOLE PROXIMATE CAUSE OF THE PLAINTIFF’S FALL; SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON THE LABOR LAW 240(1) CAUSE OF ACTION SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED)