Cardona v. Pfizer Inc.
Justice Wayne Saitta
Worker Cardona sought to recover for injuries he allegedly sustained when he fell from a 22-foot fiberglass ladder. Cardona, who was employed by third-party defendant United as a pipe fitter, was working on replacing the sprinkler pipe both at the top and the bottom of an acetone tank located at a work site owned by defendant Pfizer. Cardona moved for summary judgment on his Labor Law §240(1) claims against Pfizer as owner, as well as against the general contractor, arguing that the lack of adequate safety devices to protect him while he was on the ladder was the proximate cause of his fall. The court denied the motion, finding that there was conflicting testimony as to whether Cardona was wearing a harness at the time of the accident, and whether he was provided with a lanyard of sufficient length to enable him to tie off. The court also found a question as to whether there was equipment available on site to tie off the ladder. In addition, the court denied defendants' motion to dismiss Cardona's §241(6) claim, determining that they failed to show that the work was not being performed higher than 10 feet off the ground or that the ladder was secured by mechanical means.