The Third Department determined there were questions of fact whether defendant intended to reside in the two-family home plaintiff was working on (thereby triggering the homeowner’s exemption from Labor Law liability) and whether defendant created a dangerous condition by providing a ladder that was too short. Therefore defendant’s motions for summary judgment on the Labor Law 240 (1) and 200 causes of action were properly denied:
“Although Labor Law §§ 240 (1) and 241 each ‘impose nondelegable duties upon contractors, owners and their agents to comply with certain safety practices for the protection of workers engaged in various construction-related activities . . .[,] the Legislature has carved out an exemption for the owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work'”… . The exemption stems from the legislative determination “that the typical homeowner is no better situated than the hired worker to furnish appropriate safety devices and to procure suitable insurance protection”… . The exemption does not “encompass homeowners who use their one or two-family premises entirely and solely for commercial purposes”… . In this regard, “renovating a residence for resale or rental plainly qualifies as work being performed for a commercial purpose” … . The relevant inquiry is “‘the homeowners’ intentions at the time of the injury underlying the action'” … .
Despite defendant’s submissions indicating that he intended to use the house, at least in part, as his own residence, defendant also submitted the deposition of plaintiff, who testified that defendant had told him that he planned to rent both halves of the two-family home. Thus, defendant’s submissions, when viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, failed to meet his prima facie burden of establishing his entitlement to the homeowner’s exemption … . …
Where, as here, the injured worker contends that the underlying “accident arose not from the manner in which the work was performed, but rather from an allegedly dangerous condition at the work site, liability for a violation of Labor Law § 200 and common-law negligence will be imposed if the property owner created the condition or had actual or constructive notice of it, and failed to remedy the condition within a reasonable amount of time”… . According to plaintiff’s deposition testimony, defendant created the dangerous condition that caused his fall and failed to remedy it despite plaintiff’s complaints. More specifically, and according to plaintiff, defendant supplied plaintiff with a ladder that was too short for the fascia project that defendant had asked him to complete and, despite plaintiff voicing his concerns about the ladder, defendant told plaintiff that the project needed to be completed before plaintiff left that day. Plaintiff further testified that defendant thereafter held the same ladder that plaintiff had indicated was too short while plaintiff climbed it and then reached to attempt the fascia work before falling. Vogler v Perrault, 2017 NY Slip Op 02857, 3rd Dept 4-13-17
LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW (QUESTIONS OF FACT WHETHER HOMEOWNER’S EXEMPTION APPLIED (LABOR LAW 240 (1)) AND WHETHER DEFENDANT CREATED THE DANGEROUS CONDITION (LABOR LAW 200))/HOMEOWNER’S EXEMPTION (LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW, QUESTIONS OF FACT WHETHER HOMEOWNER’S EXEMPTION APPLIED (LABOR LAW 240 (1)) AND WHETHER DEFENDANT CREATED THE DANGEROUS CONDITION (LABOR LAW 200))/LADDERS (LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW, QUESTIONS OF FACT WHETHER HOMEOWNER’S EXEMPTION APPLIED (LABOR LAW 240 (1)) AND WHETHER DEFENDANT CREATED THE DANGEROUS CONDITION (LABOR LAW 200))