Falling Object Law in New York


When working on a construction site, workers are subject to many dangers.  With this in mind, New York has enacted strong laws to ensure the safety of its construction workers.  One of the more common dangers to construction workers is being struck by a falling object on the construction site.  Under New York State law, you may be entitled to compensation for these injuries.

New York’s Labor Law Section 240, also known as the “scaffold law,” also covers instances of a worker being struck by a falling object. The law covers accidents such as building materials falling from above, collapsing scaffolding, faulty ceilings, floors collapsing, and ladders tipping or sliding.  The law even covers instances whereby a worker falls from a height and strikes another while falling. Under the law, a number of parties can be liable for the injuries caused.

In the 2014 case of Fabrizi v. 1095 Ave. of Americas, the New York Court of Appeals held that in order to have a claim under the falling object section of New York Labor Law 240, the plaintiff must demonstrate that at the time the object fell it was: (1) either being hoisted or secured; or (2) that the object “required securing for the purposes of the undertaking.”  While proving that an object was being hoisted or secured when it fell is straight-forward, the second option appears on its face to be more difficult to prove.

While the New York Court of Appeals has yet to hear another case clarifying the second option, the lower Courts have heard several cases which give it some clarity.  The cases following the Fabrizi decision have looked at the second option as having two distinct parts. First, that the object required securing and second, that the object was used for the purposes of the undertaking.  For instance, if a construction project involves construction on the first floor and an object falls from the unrelated 10th and 11th floors, the object was clearly not used for the purposes of the undertaking.  If you are hurt as the result of a falling object, an attorney experienced in construction accidents will help you determine if you have a claim under Labor Law Section 240.  Along with the falling object section of Labor Law Section 240, there may also be other options for getting the recovery you deserve.

When contractors, owners, and agents fail to provide reasonable and adequate safety and protections, workers can suffer serious and sometimes fatal injuries. If you are a New York City construction worker who has been seriously injured as a result of another individual’s failure to provide or maintain safe construction site conditions, it is important to contact an experienced New York City construction accident lawyer. The lawyers at Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC are experienced in handling various personal injury matters, including New York City construction worker injury cases. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our New York City construction accident lawyers at (718) 238-2400.