Monday, May 23, 2016

First Department Affirms Finding That Plaintiff Was Not Engaged In A Labor Law § 240(1) Enumerated Activity

In Royce v. DIG EH Hotels, LLC, the plaintiff, a lighting engineer, fell from a ladder while replacing a "gel" that altered the color of light on a temporary lighting stand. Plaintiff's work involved delivering and assembling audiovisual and lighting equipment in a hotel ballroom.  Once the event for which the equipment was needed had concluded, plaintiff would then  be responsible to remove that equipment. It is notable that the fixture on which plaintiff was working was secured to the floor by sandbags.

Plaintiff commenced an action against the defendants asserting, in part, an alleged violation of Labor Law § 240(1). The Supreme Court granted the defendants' motion to dismiss that claim and plaintiff appealed. On appeal, the First Department affirmed.  The Court found that there was no evidence that any of plaintiff's work "altered" or caused a substantial physical change to the building, as required by the Labor Law. Therefore, plaintiff was not engaged in a Labor Law enumerated activity when he was injured and his section 240(1) claim against the defendants was properly dismissed.

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