COVID-19 Notice: The Perecman Firm has returned to in-person operation in accordance with safety regulations set by New York State and CDC health officials. Our attorneys will continue to provide top-notch legal representation and are available to discuss your case in person, over the phone, via email or video.

Proposed New York Scaffold Law Change Halted

The Perecman Firm opposed the change

New legislation sponsored by Sen. Patrick Gallivan (R-Erie) and Assemblyman Joe Morelle (D-Rochester) tried to add new language to the construction Scaffold Law. They wanted to mandate that juries also consider workers’ actions when deciding on fault and compensation in court, the New York Daily News reported.

The Scaffold Law says, if a construction worker using scaffolding or a ladder is injured, the burden is on the contractor to prove the job site was safe. The proposed legislation would have put more of the burden on the injured worker, instead of the contractor, to prove the job site was safe.

Juries on construction accident trials would be required to take the worker’s actions into greater consideration, weighing the possibility of the injury being caused by a mistake made by the worker. In Albany, labor unions and trial lawyers argued that the law, as it is now, holds developers and contractors accountable.

The building industry said the law absolves workers of responsibility. The change to the law was killed after pressure from unions, organizations and many elected officials pushed Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to halt all changes proposed to the Scaffold Law. The progress of the proposed amendment came to a complete halt as the legislative session ended.

New York State laws protect construction workers who fall from heights

New York State has a specific set of labor laws written to protect construction workers and ensure that those workers, who have been injured on the job, may receive fair compensation if an injury occurs. New York State law almost always favors construction workers during lawsuits. This protects the workers who are injured on scaffolding and ladders.

Construction site falls are one of the leading causes of injury and death for New York construction workers. New York Labor Law Section 240, also known as the “Scaffold Law,” offers special legal protection to construction workers who work at heights. According to Section 240 of the New York Labor Law, it is the responsibility of a general contractor, project owner, and/or other third party (as opposed to the workers themselves) to guarantee the safety of workers who are performing work-related jobs at an elevation.

Construction deadlines and budgets may create a desire to urge speed over safety. The Scaffold Law protects workers and gives employers incentive to keep job sites safe.

Contact a lawyer for help with fall-from-height injury compensation, third-party lawsuits and workers’ compensation

Lawyers at The Perecman Firm have 30 years of experience filing construction accident-related third-party lawsuits, as well as advising on the workers’ compensation process. Lawyers at The Firm evaluate benefits, negotiate fair compensation, and help with lawsuits and claims from beginning to end. They also provide representation during disputes regarding workers’ compensation and manage the appeals if a claim has been denied.


No Fees Unless We Win Your Case

Call (212) 577-9325 for a Free Consultation

  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.