A number of people visited Albany seeking to convince the Governor and Legislature to reform New York State’s Labor Law Section 240, also known as the Scaffold Law. Many of those who wanted to see the law changed were representatives from the construction and insurance industries, reported Fox News. (2.12.13). This law allows injured workers to bring lawsuits against those responsible for their elevation-related injuries, so it should be no surprise these particular groups want to see the law tossed, said New York construction accident lawyer David Perecman.
“Once again business interests are prioritizing money over safety,” said Perecman.
The 127-year-old scaffold law holds employers and contractors absolutely liable for all damages in gravity-related injuries, regardless of whether or not the employee was at fault. The law also requires that all owners and contractors provide workers with adequate and working safety equipment, such as harnesses and barricades.
“Essentially, the law is in place to keep workers safe,” said Perecman, chairman of the Labor Law committee for the New York State Trial Lawyers Association and lecturer on construction accident law.
Business lobbyists blamed the law for making construction more expensive. As reported by Fox News, the president of the state Association of General Contractors, one of the organizations that went to the capitol, said the law “adds considerable expenses” to every New York construction project.
“This law is absolutely necessary. It is in place to ensure the priority of safety over profit,” Perecman said. “The strict liability of the Scaffold Law works to prevent unsafe practices.”
In the past, business groups advocated getting rid of the law entirely. Now the groups are working to chip away at the law little by little.
“While workplace safety may be an important consideration, on construction sites there is always the temptation to cut corners on safety in the interest of speed or saving money,” said Perecman.
Construction work is one of the most dangerous occupations in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many of the accidents can be attributed to the fact construction workers often have to work at elevated heights, like on scaffolding or roofs. Working at heights increases the risk of injury and even a fall from a low height can cause serious injury.
For more than 30 years, the construction accident attorneys at The Perecman Firm in New York have aggressively helped injured workers and-or their families obtain compensation following construction accidents in New York. Contact The Perecman Firm at 212-977-7033.
About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:
For the past 30 years, the New York construction accident, medical malpractice, auto accident, personal injury, and civil rights violation lawyers at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have handled all types of New York construction accident cases, including scaffold and crane collapses. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, has been recognized for his achievements as an Honoree in the National Law Journal’s Hall of Fame, in New York Magazine’s “The Best Lawyers in America” and The New York Times Magazine “New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition” for the years 2007-2010. The prestigious U.S. News & World Report ranks The Perecman Firm among the top 20 personal injury firms in New York City for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
The Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its clients. Among the more recent victories, Mr. Perecman won a $15 million verdict** for a construction accident (Index 112370/03) Supreme Court, New York County, a $5.35 million dollar verdict*** for an automobile accident (Index 2749/04) Supreme Court, Kings County, and a $40 million dollar structured settlement for medical malpractice (Index 2146/03)****Supreme Court, Kings County.
The Perecman Firm serves Manhattan, Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, Westchester, Upstate NY, Morris County, and Rockland County.
**later settled while on appeal for $7.940 million
*** later settled for $3.5 million
**** total potential payout
“Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.”