The First Department, in a full-fledged opinion by Justice Tom, over an extensive two-justice dissent, determined that plaintiff’s Labor Law 200, 240 (1) and 241 (6) causes of action were properly dismissed. Plaintiff was injured attempting to enter a building through a window from a scaffold, a prohibited method of entry. There was evidence plaintiff dislocated his shoulder trying to pull himself up to the window, and there was (possibly conflicting) evidence plaintiff fell backwards onto the scaffold. The majority concluded that in either scenario the injury was not caused by a defect in the scaffold or a failure to provide an adequate safety device, and therefore was not compensable:
Plaintiff’s claim was correctly dismissed because defendants demonstrated as a matter of law that plaintiff’s injury was not proximately caused by a violation of section 240(1). Plaintiff’s own actions were the sole proximate cause of his injuries. Plaintiff conceded that scaffold stairs were available to him to descend several floors and reenter the building. Further, as already noted, he admitted during his deposition that he knew he was not supposed to climb through the [*5]window and that it would have been safer to use the scaffold stairs. On appeal, he essentially argues, inter alia, that reentry via the scaffold stairs would have taken more time and would have been an inconvenience. Plaintiff also admitted to unhooking his safety line in order to climb through the window cut-out. Under the circumstances, adequate safety devices were available for plaintiff’s use at the job site, and his own actions in unhooking his safety line and climbing through the window were the sole proximate cause of his injuries … .
Because plaintiff’s actions were the sole proximate cause of his injuries, the claims for common-law negligence and violation of Labor Law § 200 were also properly dismissed … .
Plaintiff also failed to raise an issue of fact as to a violation of the Industrial Code, as required to support the claim under Labor Law § 241(6) … . Industrial Code (12 NYCRR) § 23-1.7(d), which requires that an employer “not suffer or permit any employee to use a floor, passageway, walkway, scaffold, platform or other elevated working surface which is in a slippery condition,” clearly does not include a crossbar, such as the one from which plaintiff allegedly slipped, because it is limited to “working surfaces.” While a scaffold platform on which workers stand and work would seemingly come within the provision, structural crossbars which simply hold the scaffold together are not working surfaces required for standing or walking … . Biaca-Neto v Boston Rd. II Hous. Dev. Fund Corp., 2019 NY Slip Op 06142, First Dept 8-13-19