Wrong Ladder 2

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Q: At a construction site, I fell from my employer’s A-frame ladder – while descending six feet, from an upper level to a lower level.  The ladder was unsecured.  It was leaning against the wall, in a closed position.  Although there was also a concrete staircase located near the ladder, I had never been instructed to use the one rather than the other.  Is the accident my own fault, for failing to open and secure the ladder?

A: Not under New York Labor Law § 240(1), which basically requires contractors and non-home owners to furnish devices that will protect all workers against elevation-related risks.

Your lawyer will remind the court that this statute is ‘self-executing’.  It is mandatory in its nature and imposes absolute liability for any injury arising from its breach.  For breach of the statute, absolutely imposed, the owner and contractor are rendered liable without regard to anyone’s care or lack of it.

He or she will argue that the only question left for the jury is whether either the absence of an open, properly secured ladder or the absence of an instruction to use only the staircase was a contributing cause of your injury.  From what you have told me, to recover under the statute, you need only prove that you were injured when the unsecured, closed A-frame ladder fell backwards as you descended it.

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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