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Plaintiff Brings Action Pursuant to Labor Law 240, New York Supreme Court Decides


This case deals with the plaintiff Fatmir J versus the defendants Tritec Building Company Inc and 125 Kennedy H. LLC. The Supreme Court of the State of New York in Suffolk County is overseeing this matter. The plaintiff began this action against the defendants seeking to recover damages for injuries that he allegedly sustained in a fall from a ladder on the 18th of July, 2008.

Case Background

According to the testimony of the plaintiff he was directed by his foreman, Marvin Navaro to install insulation on an inside wall and was given a six foot aluminum A-frame ladder to perform the work. The plaintiff states that the company had both six foot and ten foot ladders available and he asked Navaro for one of the ten foot ladders and was told to make due with the six foot ladder.

He worked for a few hours installing the insulation. The ladder had been placed on clear and uncluttered flooring and he had no problems with the ladder. On the alleged last trip up the ladder he was working from the second step from the top, he felt the ladder start to shake and tried to climb down from it. However, the ladder flipped and he and the ladder fell down. After he fell the plaintiff noticed that there were small pieces of electrical cable under the ladder. The basis of the plaintiff’s argument is that the ladder was too short for him to perform his work safely and that the ladder was placed on debris that made it unstable.

The plaintiff stated that he did not go back to work after he fell and waited for his girlfriend to pick him up at the end of the day.

Case Discussion

Labor Law section 240 created a duty that is non delegable and any owner or general contractor that breaches this duty may be held liable for damages regardless of whether they have actually exercised any supervision or control over the work that was conducted.

The plaintiff has moved for a summary judgment in his favor as to the liability of the defendants for the personal injuries that he sustained from the fall. In this case if a ladder slips, collapses or fails to perform its function of safely supporting the worker a statutory violation and thus prima facie entitlement to summary judgment is met.

The defendants offer deposition testimony from Navaro and one of the plaintiff’s co-workers. Both state that the insulation above the eight foot line had already been installed and therefore the six foot ladder was sufficient for installing insulation below this line, which the plaintiff was assigned to do.

In this particular case there have been several issues of fact raised and for this reason summary judgment cannot be granted. The motion for summary judgment is denied and the case will be remitted for further investigation.

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