In Passantino v. Made Realty Corp., plaintiff was part of a three-man crew installing fiber optic cable. The crew was working inside a courtyard on ground covered with sand and gravel. Plaintiff’s coworker was on a ladder installing cable and plaintiff was holding the bottom of the ladder. Plaintiff let go of the ladder momentarily and it began to fall. Plaintiff reached to stop the ladder and his coworker from falling and, in the process, plaintiff slipped on the sand and gravel and injured himself.
The Second Department affirmed the lower court’s decision granting plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment on his Labor Law §240(1) claim. The court held that this type of harm was a direct consequence of the force of gravity and therefore falls within the scope of the statute. Defendants failed to provide the appropriate safety device to plaintiff, and that failure was a proximate cause of his injuries.
On the other hand, the Second Department granted defendant’s cross-motion for summary judgment dismissing the Labor Law §241(6) claims based on alleged violations of Industrial Code Section 23-1.7(d) and e(2). The court held that plaintiff was not injured in an area consisting of a floor, passageway, walkway, scaffold, platform, or elevated surface and, therefore, the code provisions were inapplicable.