Electrocuted Worker Entitled to Summary Judgment Under New York Labor Law § 241(6)

From Rubino v. 330 Madison Co., LLC, 2017 NY Slip Op 04210 (App. Div. 1st Dept. May 25, 2017):

The court properly granted plaintiffs’ motion for partial summary judgment on the Labor Law § 241(6) claim as against appellants. It is undisputed that violations of Industrial Code (12 NYCRR) § 23-1.13(b)(3) and (4) proximately caused the injuries sustained by plaintiff when a metal part of his safety harness contacted a live electrical wire, known as a BX cable, which was hanging down from a drop ceiling of a building under renovation. Appellants, as owner and general contractor, may be held liable for violation of those provisions, even though they impose obligations on the employer, since they have a nondelegable duty to provide adequate safety protections. Appellants fail to point to any evidence that would support a finding that plaintiff was comparatively negligent, since he was acting pursuant to his foreman’s instructions and neither knew nor should have known that the cable was electrified, in the absence of any warnings, caution tape, or other such indications that workers should avoid the area. Appellants’ assertion that they lacked notice of the presence of the exposed, electrified cable is irrelevant, [s]ince an owner or general contractor’s vicarious liability under section 241(6) is not dependent on its personal capability to prevent or cure a dangerous condition[.]

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