(Albany, NY) The New York State Builders Association (NYSBA) will have members traveling from across the state to Albany on Tuesday February 10th, to lobby on behalf of reforming New York’s pernicious Scaffold Law.
Many of our 2,500 members hope to convince Senators and Assembly members to support legislation that will allow the application of a comparative negligence standard in Labor Law 240 and 241(Scaffold Law) cases so that any employee’s negligence that contributed to any “gravity-related” injury may be considered in damage awards.
“NYSBA believes that any worker legitimately injured on the job due to negligence on the part of the builder, contractor or owner should be compensated accordingly but the current law does not provide a fair playing field for a builder that is facing a liability lawsuit” states NYSBA President William Tuyn.
“Under Scaffold Law, if a worker is injured on the job the builder or general contractor is held responsible even if the worker did something significant that contributed to his or her own injury.”
An employee who (1) failed to use safety devices furnished at the job site; (2) failed to comply with safety instructions of training; (3) were injured as a result of drug or alcohol impairment; or (4) were injured while committing a crime may have their damage award reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to him or her.
Workers who are injured on the job are usually compensated twice for the same injury with the worker collecting the maximum in workers’ compensation benefits while also collecting a six to seven figure award or settlement from a liability lawsuit. This increased risk has increased the cost of general liability insurance between 300%-600%, reduced coverage and driven carriers out of the state. It is now standard for builders’ insurers to require indemnification and additional insured clauses from all subcontractors however most subcontractors can ill afford these astronomically expensive liability policies to cover this indemnification. This limits the availability of reputable subcontractors and increases the cost of construction work.
NYSBA truly hopes that with a new speaker, who is not a trial attorney, New York State is finally ready to address this outdated and deleterious law and prove that New York is finally open for business.