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Construction Site Accident Results in Worker's Injury
Date:12/26/2008

who shape and make the law, make it harder for workers to prove their cases and get the justice we trial lawyers think they deserve."

Perecman said that some of the bills that have been introduced in Albany to amend Labor Law 240 would actually allow juries to shift some, if not all, of the burden of providing workplace health and safety from the contractor to the worker.

An earlier decision about New York state labor laws made by an appellate court in March 2007 went so far as to say that if an employee did not have access to safe equipment at the workplace, and went ahead and used what was provided by the owner, or the contractor, or by his employer, the worker bore the responsibility for his injury because he should have waited until the proper equipment was delivered from another location.

"Again, in situations like these," Perecman said, "if a worker says he wants to wait for proper equipment to arrive, it is certainly possible, if not likely, he would not gain favor in his employer's eyes, and may simply be asked not to return to work on that site the next day."


Some republican and pro-business opponents of sections 240 and 241 of The New York State Labor Law argue that these statutes establish an absolute liability standard on any contractor or property owner for a construction site accident or injury, regardless of fault, and that the law deprives owners and contractors of their right to defend themselves against such claims.

"This is an erroneous interpretation of the statute," Perecman explained. "Regardless of what the so-called pro-business lobby would have you believe, juries in New York State are free to consider whether an employee's own negligence also caused the accident, and to throw the case out
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