The First Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the elevator which descended and crushed plaintiff’s decedent, who had entered the shaft, was not a “falling object” within the meaning of Labor Law 240(1). Therefore the complaint against defendants must be dismissed:
Plaintiff’s decedent, an elevator mechanic, entered an elevator shaft on the lobby level, under an elevator that he had sent to one of the floors above. After the shaft doors closed, the call button was pressed, and the elevator descended to the lobby, crushing the decedent. The parties agree that the elevator was working normally, in the “automatic” setting, at the time of the accident.
The Labor Law § 240(1) claim must be dismissed because the elevator did not “fall” as a result of the force of gravity but descended in automatic mode, as it was designed to do … . Luna v Brodcom W. Dev. Co. LLC, 2022 NY Slip Op 02873, First Dept 4-28-22
Practice Point: In order to be covered under Labor Law 240(1), this elevator accident must have been the result of the elevator “falling.” Because the elevator was descending normally when it struck and killed plaintiff, the complaint was dismissed.