Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Labor Law 241(6) and the State

In Morton v. State, the plaintiff was injured in a trench collapse on a State-owned road while working for a company which furnished water to portions of Nassau County. The employer failed to obtain a work permit from the Department of Transportation as mandated by Highway Law 52.  In a 5-2 decision, the Court of Appeals held that, like the cable company exception noted in Abbatiello, the State is not liable here under section 241(6) since there was no duty-creating nexus between the State and the plaintiff.  Since the employer had not secured a work permit, the plaintiff was deemed a “trespasser.”

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