The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined plaintiff was entitled to summary judgment on his Labor Law 240(1) cause of action. A heavy fire pump that was leaning against the wall, unsecured, tipped over and struck plaintiff:
Liability under Labor Law § 240(1) arises where a safety device of the kind enumerated in the statute either proved inadequate to shield against injury resulting directly from the application of the force of gravity to a person or object or where no safety device was provided to shield against such injury … . Here, plaintiff was injured when he and two coworkers were assigned to run conduits along the wall and ceiling of an approximately 8 by 10-foot fire pump room. As they were looking at the wall and ceiling and deciding how to proceed, plaintiff felt a sharp pain in his leg when a 3-to-4 foot tall, 300-500+ pound fire pump, which had been standing upright on the floor, on its narrower end and unsecured, fell on his leg. Where a load positioned on the same level as the injured worker falls a short distance, Labor Law § 240(1) applies if the load, due to its weight, is capable of generating significant force … . Here, the fire pump was required to be secured against tipping or falling and the failure to secure it was a violation of Labor Law § 240(1) … . Grigoryan v 108 Chambers St. Owner, LLC, 2022 NY Slip Op 02620, First Dept 4-21-22
Practice Point: Here a heavy fire pump, 3 t0 4 feet in height, was leaning against a wall on the same level as plaintiff when it tipped over and struck him. An unsecured object positioned on the same level as the injured party which generates significant force when it falls over is covered by Labor Law 240(1).