A defendant seeking summary judgment must establish prima facie entitlement to such relief as a matter of law by affirmatively, with evidence demonstrating the merits of the claim or defense, and not merely by pointing to gaps in plaintiff’s proof.
Labor Law §200 reads: All places to which this chapter applies shall be so constructed, equipped, arranged, operated and conducted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to the lives, health and safety of all persons employed therein or lawfully frequenting such places. All machinery, equipment, and devices in such places shall be so placed, operated, guarded, and lighted as to provide reasonable and adequate protection to all such persons. The board may make rules to carry into effect the provisions of this section.
Owners and general contractors, will be found liable for accidents resulting from unsafe conditions on the owner’s land, if the owner either exercised supervision and control over the activity causing the injury, caused or created the dangerous condition, or had actual or constructive notice of the unsafe condition. However, where the defect or dangerous condition arises from a sub contractor’s methods and the owner or general contractor exercises no control or supervision over the activity at issue, the owner and general contractor will not be liable under Labor Law §200, even if the same had notice of the sub-contractor’s defective methods or the dangerous condition alleged. Stated differently, with respect to the sub-contractor’s improper methods or the use of defective materials, liability is only established when the owner has maintained the ability to control the work giving rise to the personal injury or has actually exercised supervision or control of the same.