The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff should have been granted summary judgment on his Labor Law 240 (1) cause of action, the general contractor’s (PWI’s) and lessee’s (St. John’s) motions for summary judgment should have been denied, and the out-of-possession landlord’s (Rolex’s) motion for summary judgment should have been granted. Plaintiff was injured moving a 600 pound I-beam down some stairs and alleged there was debris on the steps, there was no handrail, and the lighting was dim:
The Labor Law § 200 and common-law negligence claims were incorrectly dismissed as against PWI and St. John. To the extent plaintiff’s claim is based on allegations that his fall was due to the defective condition of the premises (including the presence of debris on the staircase, inadequate lighting, and the lack of a handrail), defendants can be held liable for plaintiff’s injuries only if they created or had notice of the dangerous conditions on the premises … . … [P]laintiff raised an issue of fact through his testimony that there was debris in the form of chopped concrete, pieces of wire, and trim studs on the steps, that there was no handrail, and that the lighting was dim. …
The record demonstrates that Rolex, an out-of-possession landlord with a right of re-entry to maintain and repair, was not involved with the project and was not on site and thus that it had no actual notice of the dangerous conditions … . The record demonstrates further that Rolex cannot be held liable under a theory of constructive notice because the dangerous conditions did not constitute significant structural or design defects that violated specific safety statutes … .
Finally, defendants were not entitled to summary judgment dismissing the claim under Labor Law § 240(1), and plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment as to liability on that claim. The record establishes a failure to provide plaintiff and his coworker with devices offering adequate protection against the gravity-related risks of moving an extremely heavy object down a staircase, leading to the workers’ loss of control over the object’s descent and plaintiff’s injuries … . Dirschneider v Rolex Realty Co. LLC, 2018 NY Slip Op 00253, First Dept 1-16-18
LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW (PLAINTIFF SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON HIS LABOR LAW 240 (1) CAUSE OF ACTION, DEFENDANTS GENERAL CONTRACTOR AND LESSEE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GRANTED SUMMARY JUDGMENT, DEFENDANT OUT OF POSSESSION LANDLORD SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED SUMMARY JUDGMENT, CRITERIA EXPLAINED (FIRST DEPT))/LANDLORD-TENANT (LABOR LAW-CONSTRUCTION LAW, DEFENDANT OUT OF POSSESSION LANDLORD SHOULD HAVE BEEN GRANTED SUMMARY JUDGMENT IN THIS LABOR LAW 240 (1) AND 200 ACTION, CRITERIA EXPLAINED (FIRST DEPT))