Monday, June 13, 2016

First Department Determines That Elevators Are Falling Objects Under Labor Law § 240

In McCrea v Arnlie Realty Co., the First Department held that an injured elevator repairman was entitled to recovery under Labor Law § 240 as an elevator is considered a “falling object” within the meaning of the Labor Law. Although an elevator is not technically “hoisted or secured at the time of the accident,” it requires securing when suspended during repair work and therefore falls under the statute’s purview.  Therefore, the defendant was held strictly liable for injuries sustained from the falling elevator.

The Court further found that plaintiff was not the sole proximate cause of the accident. Although an adequate safety device was made available, a kill switch, plaintiff was never informed of the safeguard. Therefore, since plaintiff was unaware of the availability of the safety device, he could not be found to be the sole proximate cause of the accident.

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