The Second Department determined sheetrock panels which were stored upright and fell over on plaintiff did not constitute an elevation-related hazard within the meaning of Labor Law 240(1):
“The extraordinary protections of Labor Law § 240(1) extend only to a narrow class of special hazards, and do ‘not encompass any and all perils that may be connected in some tangential way with the effects of gravity'” … . Therefore, to recover under Labor Law § 240(1), the injured plaintiff “must have suffered an injury as ‘the direct consequence of a failure to provide adequate protection against a risk arising from a physically significant elevation differential'” … .
“With respect to falling objects, Labor Law § 240(1) applies where the falling of an object is related to ‘a significant risk inherent in . . . the relative elevation . . . at which materials or loads must be positioned or secured'” … . “Therefore, a plaintiff must show more than simply that an object fell, thereby causing injury to a worker. A plaintiff must show that, at the time the object fell, it was being hoisted or secured, or that the falling object required securing for the purposes of the undertaking” … .
Here, [defendant] established … the injured plaintiff’s injuries were not caused by an elevation-related or gravity-related risk within the scope of Labor Law § 240(1) … . Parrino v Rauert, 2022 NY Slip Op 04970, Second Dept 8-17-22
Practice Point: Here stored sheetrock panels which fell over on plaintiff did not constitute the kind of elevation/gravity-related incident that is covered by Labor Law 240(1). The facts are not explained. If the sheetrock should have been secured, it would seem Labor Law 240(1) would apply. Apparently defendant demonstrated there was no need to secure the sheetrock?