The Fourth Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, determined plaintiff town’s motion for summary judgment on the Labor Law 240 (1) and 241 (6) causes of action should have been granted. Plaintiff was hired by the town to repair a vacant house. He fell from a ladder. The Fourth Department determined the town was not an “owner” or “general contractor” within the meaning of the Labor Law statutes:
We agree with the Town that it established as a matter of law that it is not liable for plaintiff’s injuries under Labor Law §§ 240 (1) and 241 (6) inasmuch as it was not an owner of the property or a general contractor on the project. For the purposes of the Labor Law, the term “owner” encompasses the titleholder of the property where the accident occurred, as well as “a person who has an interest in the property and who fulfilled the role of owner by contracting to have work performed for his [or her] benefit”… . Here, the Town did not hold title to the property, nor did it have any interest in the property… . Furthermore, even assuming, arguendo, that the Town was an owner of the property, we conclude that the Town would be entitled to the homeowner exemption under the Labor Law … .
We further conclude that the Town established as a matter of law that it was not a general contractor on the project … . The Town submitted evidence establishing that no Town employees were on the job site, plaintiff’s employer, and not the Town, directed plaintiff to the job site, and the Town did not have the authority to direct plaintiff with respect to the method and manner in which he would perform the work. Thus, the Town established that it was not a general contractor inasmuch as it was not “responsible for coordinating and supervising the project” … , and plaintiff failed to raise a question of fact. Berner v Town of Cheektowaga, 2017 NY Slip Op 04610, 4th Dept 6-9-17
MUNICIPAL LAW (LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW, ALTHOUGH THE TOWN HIRED PLAINTIFF TO REPAIR A VACANT HOUSE, THE TOWN WAS NOT AN OWNER OR GENERAL CONTRACTOR WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LABOR LAW, TOWN’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED FOR THE LABOR LAW 240 (1) AND 241 (6) CAUSES OF ACTION STEMMING FROM PLAINTIFF’S FALL FROM A LADDER)/LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW (MUNICIPAL LAW, ALTHOUGH THE TOWN HIRED PLAINTIFF TO REPAIR A VACANT HOUSE, THE TOWN WAS NOT AN OWNER OR GENERAL CONTRACTOR WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE LABOR LAW, TOWN’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED FOR THE LABOR LAW 240 (1) AND 241 (6) CAUSES OF ACTION STEMMING FROM PLAINTIFF’S FALL FROM A LADDER)