Fall From Ladder Not Enough For NY Labor Law § 240

In Noble v. 60-261 Madison Avenue, LLC, the First Department once again re-affirmed that a fall from a ladder, without more, does not establish a violation of Labor Law § 240.

In Noble, the six-foot tall plaintiff claimed that he was standing on the sixth or seventh rung of a ten-foot ladder in order to perform work on the 10 foot, 7 inch high ceiling when a piece of conduit pipe on which he was holding for support, broke free, causing him to fall. The Supreme Court granted the plaintiff’s motion on Labor Law § 240, but the First Department reversed, finding an issue of fact.

The First Department denied plaintiff summary judgment for a few reasons, one of them being that there was no evidence that the plaintiff was forced to lean or had to reach to perform his work and thus, an issue of fact existed as to whether the plaintiff actually stood high enough on the ladder as would warrant securing the ladder beneath him.

The implication here is if the ladder did not need to be secured because plaintiff was standing on a lower rung than he claimed and there was no defect in the ladder, there would be no evidence to show that the ladder was inadequate.

Thank you to Gabriel Darwick for his contribution.

For more information, contact Denise Fontana Ricci at dricci@wcmlaw.com.