Lawyers Association Committee Latest to Call for Scaffold Law Reform
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Albany, NY (November 13, 2014)– The New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) Construction Committee has issued a 65-page report titled “New York’s Scaffold Law and Pending Reforms,” which concludes that the Scaffold Law is a failed public policy and should be reformed to allow liability to be apportioned based on actual fault.
The comprehensive report addresses Labor Law 240, also known as the Scaffold Law, which imposes total liability on contractors and property owners in lawsuit for gravity-related construction accidents. The report assesses the law in terms of fairness, impact on society, and worker safety, and explores pending reform legislation.
The committee concluded that, “The continuously expanding application of the Scaffold Law runs counter to the codified public policy in New York, which favors a fair and equitable balance among parties causing and suffering an injury.” The committee strongly recommended the law be reformed. “…principles of equity and fairness, the codified public policy on New York State, and the goals of improving worker and worksite safety and achieving positive economic growth within New York demand that the defense of comparative negligence be applied to the adjudication of Scaffold Law claims.”
The NYCLA Construction Committee is the latest to support reform of the Scaffold Law as have over 60 associations representing members of the business, construction, real estate, insurance, engineering, manufacturing, agricultural, municipal, and nonprofit communities.
The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York, a nonprofit, non-partisan advocacy group committed to ending lawsuit abuse in New York, applauded the committee. “We are excited to see members of the legal community take a stand on this critical issue” said Tom Stebbins, LRANY’s Executive Director. “The Scaffold Law costs billions, causes injuries, and worst of all, bars defendants from getting their day in court. Any lawyer who supports the American justice system should support Scaffold Law reform.”
The NYCLA’s tort law committee issued a competing report supporting the Scaffold Law. The Lawsuit Reform Alliance chided the report saying, “the tort committee’s report was drafted by the people that benefit from the Scaffold Law: personal injury trial lawyers. It’s filled with supposition, irrelevant data and defense for the status quo. Since no other state and no other part of New York’s civil justice system has a similar law, the legal defense was dubious at best.”
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The Construction Committee report can be accessed here: http://www.nycla.org/siteFiles/Publications/Publications1729_0.pdf
For more information, please contact Tom Stebbins, Executive Director of LRANY at 518-512-5265 or firstname.lastname@example.org.