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New York Construction Accident Decision Impacts Injured Worker Rights (Runner v. New York Stock Exchange)

Injured construction workers increase in number every day. Many workers injured on the job live in Syracuse, New York, and in surrounding Central New York cities and towns, including Watertown, Oswego, Utica, Herkimer, and Binghamton. Many injured workers file lawsuits for their injuries. Generally, those lawsuits are filed against general contractors or those who own the property where the injury occurred. Most involve claims of construction site falls, laborers struck by falling objects, scaffolding accidents and machinery accidents.

Earlier this week, the New York State Court of Appeals issued a decision clarifying New York State Labor Law Section 240, which provides that “[a]ll contractors and owners and their agents, except owners of one and two-family dwellings who contract for but do not direct or control the work, in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure shall furnish or erect, or cause to be furnished or erected for the performance of such labor, scaffolding, hoists, stays, ladders, slings, hangers, blocks, pulleys, braces, irons, ropes, and other devices which shall be so constructed, placed and operated as to give proper protection to a person so employed.”

The Court of Appeals held that the statute applied to the case, even though the plaintiff did not fall from a height. Rather, the plaintiff was injured when a heavy reel fell from a height and, because he was holding on to a rope wound around the reel, was propelled horizontally and sustained severe injuries to his hands. New York State’s highest court ruled: (1) that the worker’s injury was elevation-related, and (2) that the worker did not have to be struck by the falling object (reel) in order to recover under Labor Law 240.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Law, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict all types of construction accidents, workplace injuries and jobsite mistakes, including those arising out of property owner or general contractor negligence. If you or a loved one have been injured on the job, you and/or your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York construction and work injury attorney, contact Bottar Law, PLLC now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at

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