Partial Fall Through Floor Establishes Labor Law Section 240 Liability

In Gabette v. New York University, the plaintiff worked for a HVAC company in a building that was undergoing renovation.  Plaintiff’s company had cut out openings in the floor for HVAC ducts.  The openings were covered with Styrofoam boards.  While walking across the floor, plaintiff stepped onto one of the Styrofoam boards and he started falling through to the floor below.  Plaintiff caught himself at shoulder level, and did not fall completely through.  The court granted plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on his Labor Law Section 240 cause of action despite the fact that he did not fall completely to the floor below.

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