Hoist Me No More

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Q: At a construction site, a contractor had installed a temporary personnel lift, to ferry us workers to our various work locations. The lift became stuck, and we were directed to exit this hoist through an exit in the top. As I emerged onto the top, I was struck by a piece of guide rail that was part of the hoisting mechanism. The rail had broken off and fallen to where it struck me. I have since learned that the contractor had used recycled parts – despite the fact that its contract required the contractor to put up the hoist using new and first-quality parts.

A: Under section 240(1) of the Labor Law, you appear to have an excellent case. The hoist is a safety device specified in the statute. It failed. In addition, the guide rail was required to be kept secured. It was not. These failures were the proximate cause of your injury. Under section 200 of the Labor Law, and also as a matter of common-law negligence, you also seem to have a very strong case. When a contractor launches a force or instrument of harm, he potentially has tort liability even to third party, like you. Under a third section of the Labor Law – 241(6) – you would need to prove a violation of a specific applicable industrial code section in order to succeed. While nothing you have told me points to such a section, perhaps your attorney can identify one, upon learning about this mishap in greater detail.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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