Tag Archives: LRANY

Scaffold Law Reform in Albany

On Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Scaffold Law Reform will take center stage in Albany as hundreds of advocates representing various professions, and the diverse geography of the state, converge on The Capitol. The group, which includes members of The Business Council, Associated General Contractors and the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York will urge Governor Cuomo and the Legislature to reform New York’s Scaffold Law, this session.

To join us in Albany for this exciting day of action, register here.

Insurance costs associated with New York’s Scaffold law are creating a burden for businesses, the state, municipalities and taxpayers. The Business Council supports reforming this antiquated law that raises insurance costs, negatively impacts development and job growth.

The Scaffold Law, which dates back to 1885, imposes absolute liability for any elevation-related injuries on contractors involved in construction or repair work. This means the contractor assumes 100 percent of the liability regardless of the cause of the accident. Every other personal injury action in New York State utilizes comparative negligence, which requires an assessment of the degree of causation based on all the facts in a fair and proportional way.  In addition, the other 49 states have amended their scaffold laws to incorporate a comparative negligence standard.

The Business Council endorses passage of S.111 (Gallivan)/A.3104 (Morelle), which adopts a contributory negligence standard, making liability proportional to fault, but only in situations where an employee’s injury is found to have been caused by that employee’s failure to follow safety training or use available safety devices, was intoxication or was engaged in the commission of a crime. This reform legislation neither limits an injured workers’ right to sue nor the amount that can be awarded and does not impact any workers’ compensation claim raised by an injured worker.