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“Reforming New York Labor Law Section 240(1),” Albany Law Review

January 2015
William J. Greagan

“Over the course of the last century, the court has taken a statute designed to protect workers who were unable to protect themselves from the extraordinary hazards of working at or raising materials and loads to heights, and turned it into a remedy for every injury caused by gravity that a safety device might have, in hindsight, prevented,” writes William J. Greagan, a partner in Goldberg Segalla’s Construction and General Liability Practice Groups.

In this article, Bill examines thoroughly the need for reform of New York State’s “Scaffold Law,” Section 240(1) of the state’s Labor Law. First enacted in 1885, the Scaffold Law imposes a nondelegable, absolute liability on owners and general contractors for construction-related injuries. New York is the only state with such a statute.

“In recent years, there have been several efforts to reform the statute legislatively, but these efforts have failed,” Bill writes. “Judicial interpretation is responsible for the expansion of liability and judicial reform is necessary and appropriate to correct the current imbalance.”

Read the article here: