New York Labor Law 240(1) - Special Hazards

In Arnaud v. 140 Edgecomb LLC (83 AD3d 507, 922 N.Y.S.2d 292 [1st Dept 2011]), the First Department reiterated that "The extraordinary protections of Labor Law 240(1) extend only to a narrow class of special hazards, and the decisive question as to whether the statute applies to a particular accident is whether plaintiff's injuries were the direct consequence of a failure to provide adequate protection against harm directly flowing from the application of the force of gravity to an object or person." The Court continued, "In the context of falling objects, the risk to be guarded against is the unchecked or insufficiently checked descent of the object." Therefore, the Court held that a wood plank that struck a worker, who had his arms outstretched through a second-floor window to catch the wood planks being lowered from the fourth floor by a pulley and ropes, was the "object that required securing for the purposes of the undertaking," and thus injuries the worker sustained to his wrist and fingers were within scope of 240 (1), since the risk to be guarded against was "unchecked or insufficiently checked descent of plank."