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Misicki v. Caradonna – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Misicki v. Caradonna, 12 N.Y.3d 511, 909 N.E.2d 1213, 882 N.Y.S.2d 375 (2009), the Court of Appeals considered whether Industrial Code section 23-9.2, titled "General requirements," was too general a section to which to plead.

Section 23-9.2(a) reads as follows:

All power-operated equipment shall be maintained in good repair and in proper operating condition at all times. Sufficient inspections of adequate frequency shall be made of such equipment to insure such maintenance. Upon discovery, any structural defect or unsafe condition in such equipment shall be corrected by necessary repairs or replacement.

A divided court in Misicki found that:

The first two sentences of section 23-9.2(a)--which employ only such general phrases as "good repair," "proper operating condition," "sufficient inspections," and "adequate frequency"--are not specific enough to permit recovery under section 241(6) against a non supervising owner or general contractor. We reach the opposite conclusion about the third sentence, however. This portion of the regulation imposes an affirmative duty on employers to "correct by necessary repairs or replacement" "any structural defect or unsafe condition" in equipment or machinery "upon discovery" or actual notice of the structural defect or unsafe condition. As a result, the third sentence of section 23-9.2(a) mandates a distinct standard of conduct, rather than a general reiteration of common-law principles, and is precisely the type of 'concrete specification' that Ross requires. (Misicki, 12 N.Y.3d at 520-21.)