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Bobby Jones, et al. v City of New York, et al.

This case is a mixed bag. The worker injured himself while climbing up a broken ladder attached to a building, while doing a project at the building. He was climbing the ladder to screw it the top rung which was missing a bolt. This is an example of what I believe to be an unduly harsh interpretation of the Labor Law § 240(1) and Labor Law § 241(6) case law by the Appellate Division, Second Department. Here, a worker climbed up a ladder that was fixed to a building’s wall and led to the roof in order to replace a bolt that was missing from the top rung. He grabbed onto the top rung while climbing and fell. The court simply said he didn’t make out a strong enough case to win summary judgment on the gravity statute, Labor Law § 240(1). I think the court simply was bothered because the worker did something that was not too well thought out. But that’s the point in Labor Law 240 cases. A worker’s negligence can’t be the sole cause if another cause is the failure to provide proper protection. It was the obligation of his boss or the general contractor to have him use another device or to prevent him from using the fixed ladder. Once they failed in that obligation, Labor Law 240 was violated. And that’s where it should have ended, in my humble opinion. On the non-gravity Labor Law § 241(6) theory, the court said there is a question if it was integral to the work and again denied summary judgment even though they said he made out a prima facie (on its face) violation. Again, I

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