First Department Upholds Labor Law Applies to Good Samaritans

You may believe that good deeds in this life are rewarded in the afterlife.  The Labor Law says you don’t have to wait that long. 

In Britt v. Levgar Equities Corporation, et al., 2024 NY Slip Op 02497 (1st Dep’t 2024), plaintiff was injured while attempting to install an air conditioning coil unit at the defendants’ premises.  As plaintiff was so engaged, he received an electric shock, and was unable to let go of the unit he was working on.  When the power was cut, the unit fell on to his knees.  He then attempted to pull the unit back up to its original position, in order to prevent the unit from falling and striking his coworker, who was working below him.  While attempting to prevent the unit from falling, he sustained injuries to his arm and back.

At the conclusion of discovery, plaintiff moved for summary judgment as to his Labor Law §§ 240(1) and 241(6) claims.  The Supreme Court, New York County granted plaintiff’s motion as to both causes of action.

In a brief decision, the Appellate Division, First Department unanimously affirmed the lower Court’s decision, holding that not withstanding that plaintiff neither fell from a height nor was struck by a falling object, his injuries were caused by his effort to prevent the unit from falling on his coworker, and was an elevation-related risk protected under the statute, entitling plaintiff to summary judgment as to his § 240(1) claim.  The First Department also affirmed the lower Court’s decision as to plaintiff’s § 241(6) claim, which was predicated on violations of Industrial Code § 23-1.13(b)(3) and (4), since the defendants did not ascertain whether there were live wires in the vicinity of plaintiff’s work location and failed to protect plaintiff against electrical shock.

The Britt 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.