STATE OF NEW YORK SUPREME COURT, COUNTY OF ONEIDA
JOSEPH E. BOWMAN, Plaintiff v. CAMPBELL-DEAN FUNERAL HOME, INC. A/K/A CAMPBELL’S FUNERAL SERVICE, INC., Defendants.
In this case, the plaintiff and his co-worker had gone onto the defendant’s roof to inspect a reported leak. When they had completed the inspection the plaintiff stepped onto a ladder in order to climb down to the ground. Unfortunately, the ladder was not secured and kicked out causing him to fall and sustain serious injuries.
Plaintiff sued the defendant who was the owner of the property where the fall occurred alleging violations of Labor Law §§ 200, 240 and 241(6) claiming that plaintiff was not provided with proper safety equipment.
Our firm filed a motion for summary judgment on behalf of the defendant arguing that the plaintiff was unable to set forth any evidence to demonstrate that the defendant violated the Labor Law in that (1) plaintiff was not afforded the protection of the Labor Law based on the fact that at the time of the underlying incident plaintiff was at defendant’s property to inspect the same in order to prepare an estimate and had not been hired to do any work on the property; (2) defendant did not direct or control the plaintiff’s work and (3) plaintiff had failed to allege any sections of the Industrial Code which were relevant or were the proximate cause of the underlying incident to support a finding of a violation of Labor Law §241(6). It was further argued that plaintiff’s acts were the sole proximate cause of the incident precluding a finding of a violation of Labor Law §240.
The motions papers submitted on behalf of the defendant argued that plaintiff was not afforded the protections of the Labor Law as he had not been permitted or suffered to work on the building and had not been hired to do the same. Testimony demonstrated that the defendant contacted plaintiff’s employer to come and inspect the roof and prepare an estimate to repair the same. It was not until after the incident that a decision was made to hire plaintiff’s employer for the job.
We also set forth arguments in relation to the Labor Law claims if the Court found that the plaintiff was afforded the protection of the same however the Court never got to those issues.
After review of the papers submitted and hearing oral argument Judge David A. Murad dismissed plaintiff’s complaint noting that the case law was clear and that plaintiff was not a person covered under the Labor Law.