The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, determined that plaintiff’s Labor Law 240 (1) cause of action against the building owner should have been granted, but his Labor Law 240 (1) cause of action against his employer, Bright Way, was properly denied because plaintiff presented no proof Bight Way acted as the owner’s agent. Apparently Bright Way occupies the owner’s building. Plaintiff is a salesman for Bright Way. Plaintiff was instructed to run a thermostat wire on the second floor of the building when he fell 15 feet through an inadequately protected hole:
Labor Law § 240(1) “imposes liability only on contractors, owners or their agents” (…see Labor Law § 240). “An agency relationship for purposes of section 240(1) arises only when work is delegated to a third party who obtains the authority to supervise and control the job”… . “Where the owner or general contractor delegates to a third party the duty to conform to the requirements of the Labor Law, that third party becomes the statutory agent of the owner or general contractor” … . “The key question is whether the defendant had the right to insist that proper safety practices were followed” … . “[U]nless a defendant has supervisory control and authority over the work being done when the plaintiff is injured, there is no statutory agency conferring liability under the Labor Law” … .
Here, the plaintiff’s evidence failed to establish, prima facie, that Bright Way was an agent of the property owner or one of its contractors at the site. The evidence proffered by the plaintiff in support of his motion did not establish that Bright Way had been delegated the “duty to conform to the requirements of the Labor Law”… , that Bright Way “had the right to insist that proper safety practices were followed” at the construction site … , that Bright Way had “broad responsibility” to coordinate and supervise “all the work being performed on the job site” … , or that Bright Way had requested or been granted authority by the owner or contractor to supervise and control the work in the area where the accident occurred … . Yiming Zhou v 828 Hamilton, Inc., 2019 NY Slip Op 04752, Second Dept 6-12-19