The First Department, over a dissent, determined plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment on his Labor Law 240(1) cause of action, despite the finding by the Workers’ Compensation Board that plaintiff was not an employee entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits from the general contractor. Plaintiff was found to be an independent contractor legitimately working at the site. The definitions of employer and employee in the Labor Law and Workers’ Compensation Law are different:
The sole issue at the workers’ compensation hearing was whether plaintiff was an employee of [the general contractor] as to be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. The sole finding made by the ALJ was that plaintiff was an “independent contractor” not entitled to receive workers’ compensation. The ALJ made no determination as to the scope of that work. … Plaintiff testified that he was injured when a scaffold collapsed underneath him while he was helping to load a container with construction debris.
[The owner] fails to point to any evidence demonstrating that plaintiff was not “employed” on the premises on the date of the accident, and therefore, fails to raise a triable issue of fact. Having established that he was “employed” within the meaning of the Labor Law, plaintiff is entitled to partial summary judgment on the issue of liability on his section 240(1) claim. Vera v Low Income Mktg. Corp., 2016 NY Slip Op 08318, 1st Dept 12-13-16
LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW (ALTHOUGH NOT AN EMPLOYEE UNDER THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW, PLAINTIFF WAS AN EMPLOYEE UNDER THE LABOR LAW AND WAS ENTITLED TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON HIS LABOR LAW 240(1) CAUSE OF ACTION)/WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW (ALTHOUGH NOT AN EMPLOYEE UNDER THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION LAW, PLAINTIFF WAS AN EMPLOYEE UNDER THE LABOR LAW AND WAS ENTITLED TO SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON HIS LABOR LAW 240(1) CAUSE OF ACTION)