The Second Department determined both plaintiff’s and defendants’ motions for summary judgment were properly denied. The plaintiff was cutting brackets which held up an air duct with an electric saw when the duct came down and plaintiff fell off an A-frame ladder. The fact that plaintiff fell from a ladder did not, standing alone, warrant summary judgment on plaintiff;s Labor Law 240 (1) cause of action. The defendants did not demonstrate that the ladder provided proper protection or that plaintiff’s conduct was the sole proximate cause of the accident:
… [T]he plaintiff failed to demonstrate, prima facie, that the subject ladder was an inadequate safety device for the work in which he was engaged at the time of his alleged accident … . The mere fact that the plaintiff fell from a ladder does not, in and of itself, establish that proper protection was not provided … . The opinion of the plaintiff’s expert failed to establish that the ladder that was provided was an inadequate safety device … .
… [D]efendants failed to establish their prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on that branch of their cross motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the Labor Law § 240(1) cause of action. The defendants’ expert’s affidavit, in which the expert opined that the subject ladder “was so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection,” is conclusory and unsupported by evidence in the record. The defendants also failed to demonstrate, prima facie, that the plaintiff’s conduct was the sole proximate cause of his fall because he allegedly failed to use scaffolding that was readily available at the job site … . In addition, the defendants failed to establish, prima facie, that the plaintiff’s conduct was the sole proximate cause of his fall because he allegedly improperly positioned the ladder … , did not ask his coworker to cut the bracket for him … , and did not demand that his foreman provide scaffolding … . Orellana v 7 W. 34th St., LLC, 2019 NY Slip Op 04711, Second Dept 6-12-19