Homeowners Clobbered by Pricing, Interest Rates, and the Labor Law.

The Appellate Division, First Department, in a recent decision, took the time to clarify some details about the homeowner’s exception to Labor Law §§ 240(1) and 241(6).  The context is important – this isn’t our normal reporting on an appeal of a lower Court’s decision on summary judgment motions by the parties.  This case involves a motion to renew filed by the defendant homeowner after their initial motion on summary judgment was denied due to an issue of fact raised by the plaintiff. 

In Solis, et al. v. 340 West 12 Realty, LLC, 2024 NY Slip Op 01886 (1st Dep’t 2024), plaintiff was injured while performing demolition on a two-family property that was being converted into a one family home.  The Supreme Court, New York County, held that though initially the defendant homeowner met their prima facie burden on summary judgment to dismiss plaintiff’s Labor Law §§ 240(1) and 241(6) claims via the homeowner’s exception, plaintiff successfully raised a triable issue of fact in opposition, warranting denial of the defendant homeowner’s motion.  The lower Court noted that while plaintiff submitted testimony from defendant homeowner that they intended to use the property solely for residential purposes, plaintiff submitted evidence that a provision of the mortgage requiring defendant to occupy the property within 60 days and to use the property as its principal residence for one year had been deleted. 

Defendant homeowner filed a motion to renew, submitting new facts in the form of another affidavit from the homeowner averring that he and his family had moved into the property after renovations were completed. 

In its decision, the First Department unanimously affirmed the lower Court’s denial of the motion to renew, noting that the new fact submitted would not have changed the prior determination because the fact that the family had moved into the property after the renovations were completed does not change the availability of the homeowners exception, because it hinges upon the site and the purpose of the work, a test which must be employed on the basis of the homeowner’s intentions at the time of plaintiff’s injury. 

The Solis decision can be found here.

For additional information, contact Philip D. Priore, Esq. and/or Michael J. Shields, Esq.

This article was prepared by McCormick & Priore, P.C. to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers.  This publication is in no way intended to provide legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.  All Rights Reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of McCormick & Priore, P.C.