Dobrzyn v. City of New York

Labor Law

, New York Law Journal


Justice Eileen Rakower

Dobrzyn sued to recover for injuries he allegedly sustained while working on a construction project, moving for partial summary judgment on his Labor Law §240(1) claim. He alleged he was injured when one of the brackets that attached a scaffold to the wall of the building collapsed, arguing he was not provided with any safety devices. Dobrzyn provided evidence that defendants were aware the scaffolding did not offer sufficient protection at the time of his accident, but did nothing to prevent workers from using it until the conditions were rectified. Plaintiff's son and other coworkers testified there were no safety devices at the location at any time. Defendants opposed, contending employees were provided with harnesses which attached to safety lines at the site. The court stated the recalcitrant worker doctrine required a showing that adequate and safe equipment was provided, but the injured worker refused to use same. It found defendants failed to provide proof in admissible form raising an issue of fact that safety devices were readily available, that anyone told Dobrzyn to use them, and that he refused such direction. The court ruled evidence showed the scaffold failed, and no safety device was provided plaintiff for his protection, granting plaintiff's motion.

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