Under the New York State laws protecting construction workers from “on the job” accidents, owners and general contractors have a duty to “furnish or erect…scaffolding, hoists. stays…and other devices” to provide protection to workers employed in “erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing a building or structure.” The New York courts have specifically addressed situations where construction workers have been hurt because of the absence or inadequacy of hoisting equipment.
Under Labor Law § 240 (1), contractors and owners have absolute liability for any injuries caused by violation of the law. This means that you don’t have to show negligence or carelessness, only that the general contractor or owner failed to meet the standards set by the law.
If you have been injured on a construction site because of the malfunction of a hoisting device, or because the general contractor failed to use a hoisting device, you need to contact an experienced construction accident injury lawyer to protect your rights.
You have a right to seek compensation if a hoisting device simply fails to work properly. However, the failure of a hoisting device is not necessary for you to have a right to seek damages. You may recover for your losses if you can show that the hoisting device was simply inadequate. In one specific case, a construction worker was injured when a piece of steel slid from the top edge of a dumpster and struck him in the back of the knee. The steel had been dropped to the dumpster rather than place in the dumpster, because the backhoe being used was not adequate to place the steel inside the dumpster. The court held that the plaintiff would not have been injured had the contractor used a hoisting device that could place the steel in the dumpster, and ruled that the plaintiff had a right to damages under Labor Law § 240 (1).
The courts have also held that it is not necessary that you be struck by an object when the hoisting device fails. If you take evasive action to avoid being struck by a falling object, and are hurt in the process, you still have a right to seek damages under the law.
Contact an Experienced Construction Injury Lawyer
If you have been hurt on a construction job because a poorly constructed hoist collapsed, or because a contractor or owner failed to use an adequate hoist, you probably have a claim for damages under Labor Law § 240 (1). You want to contact an attorney immediately, so that you can preserve all evidence to support your claim.
At the law office of Oresky & Associates, PLLC., we bring more than 20 years of experience to people throughout New York who have suffered personal injury, including people hurt in scaffolding, ladder and constructions accidents. We are available to take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To set up a free initial consultation, contact us by e-mail or call our office at (718) 993-9999.