The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined there was a question of fact whether an air conditioner installed by plaintiff’s employer was a falling object which should have been secured in this Labor Law 240 (1) action. the air condition was attached to the concrete ceiling by four rods. Two of the rods came out of the ceiling causing one end of the unit to drop, striking plaintiff:
Plaintiff testified that he was standing on the fourth rung of an A-frame ladder, which he had set up on a solid and clean part of the floor and had been using without incident, directly under an air-conditioning unit, while attempting to follow his foreman’s instructions by connecting a “canvas” device to air-conditioning duct work, when the air-conditioning unit fell onto his head, causing him to fall off the ladder onto the floor. The air-conditioning unit had recently been installed by plaintiff’s employer as part of its work on the project and was not part of the pre-existing building structure as it appeared before the project began. The air-conditioning unit was mounted a few inches below the approximately 12-foot ceiling by four rods. Plaintiff testified that two of those rods detached from the concrete ceiling, causing one end of the unit to drop, while the other end of the unit remained attached to the ceiling by two bent rods.
There is an issue of fact as to whether the air-conditioning unit constituted a falling object that was required to be secured for the purposes of the undertaking … . Erby v 36 LLC, 2021 NY Slip Op 02065, First Dept 4-1-21