Injured construction worker who fell from ladder wins

Written by
Abraham Jaros
Updated on Thursday, Sep 7, 2023

The First Department, a New York State Appellate Court, upheld a Summary Judgment decision in favor of a construction worker who fell from a ladder while cleaning the windows of the store he was working in. That case decided on January 17, 2013, Hector Cuentas v. Sephora USA, Inc. et al. applied Labor Law 240(1) protecting the rights of construction workers injured during the scope of their employment. Labor Law 240(1) also known as the Scaffold Law, protects construction workers from falls at construction sites and injuries that result from them. The law, which has recently been expanded for the protection of injured workers, imposes strict liability on owners and general contractors who fail to provide adequate safety devices for employees who fall from ladders, scaffolds, sidewalk bridges, hoists, elevators etc. Mr. Cuentas testified that the ladder he was using was not steady and was too short for him to reach the windows he was attempting to clean prior to falling. He also testified that the defendant failed to provide him with an adequate safety device or harness in the event that he fell to prevent him from being injured. The defendants asserted that because Mr. Cuentas was on the top of the ladder at the time of his accident, his own negligence was the sole proximate cause of his fall. However, the Court found that since Mr. Cuentas use of the ladder was consistent with his employer’s instructions, any negligence on his part was not the sole cause of his accident, and summary judgment on liability in favor of Mr. Cuentas was affirmed and granted. If you have been injured as a result of a construction accident, you may also be eligible for compensation under a personal injury or workers compensation claim. Our New York City personal injury lawyers at Jaroslawicz & Jaros, PLLC can help you navigate the legal processes you need to begin your recovery.

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