In, NICOMETI v. THE VINEYARDS OF FREDONIA, LLC (June 2013) the Fourth Department held that  contrary to the contention of defendants, the Supreme Court properly concluded that plaintiff’s fall was the result of an elevation-related risk for which Labor Law § 240 (1) provides protection.

Plaintiff alleged that he fell when his stilts slipped on ice while he was installing insulation at an elevated level, i.e., the ceiling.  The Court held that it is well settled that “[t]he contemplated hazards [covered by the statute] are those related to the effects of gravity where protective devices are called for either because of a difference between the elevation level of the required work and a lower level or a difference between the elevation level where the worker is positioned and the higher level of the materials or load being hoisted or secured. Here the risk created by the need to elevate plaintiff to the height [of the ceiling], and the [stilts were] the . . . safety device provided to protect the worker from the risk inherent in having to work at a height  (Inasmuch stilts “failed while plaintiff was installing the [insulation on the ceiling]—work requiring the statute’s special protections” the court properly concluded that the statute applies to plaintiff’s section 240 (1) claim.”

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