Maraj v. Aurora Associates
Justice David Elliot
Maraj sought to recover damages for injuries incurred in the workplace, asserted claims under state Labor Law. Defendant Aurora Associates moved for summary judgment, claiming while Maraj's work involved use of a hoist, his task neither involved work at different levels nor a significant elevation differential, arguing the accident was "only tangentially related to the force of gravity." Maraj alleged the inadequacy of the hoist was the proximate cause of the accident, noting the height differential could not be considered "de minimus" given the weight of the equipment being hoisted and the amount of force it was capable of generating. The court agreed, citing Runner v. New York Stock Exchange, which held that plaintiff's injury involved an elevation differential given the weight of the object and the force it was capable of generating even over the relatively short descent. It ruled Aurora's contention the work did not encompass the protections of §240(1) was meritless, finding Aurora's characterization the pinning of Maraj's hand was "tangentially and not directly related to the application of the force of gravity," was unsupported by the record.