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Sole Proximate Cause Defense Key to Labor Law Victory

Case Study

Sole Proximate Cause Defense Key to Labor Law Victory

January 6, 2016
Kenneth M. Alweis

Kenneth M. Alweis and Shannon T. O’Connor, attorneys in Goldberg Segalla’s Construction and General Liability Practice Groups, recently obtained summary judgment dismissing a complaint in an action where the plaintiff alleged significant injuries and liability under Labor Law Sections 200, 240(1), and 241(6) — New York’s controversial and notoriously plaintiff-friendly “Scaffold Law.”

Our team successfully argued that the plaintiff’s conduct was the “sole proximate cause” of his accident and resulting complex regional pain syndrome (f/k/a RSD) and multimillion-dollar life care plan. The plaintiff had been directed not to use a piece of equipment and then misused the equipment. As a result of extensive investigation, including locating and deposing the plaintiff’s former supervisors who had relocated across the country, we established that the equipment involved was not inadequate or defective and that only the plaintiff was to blame for the accident.