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Esposito v. N.Y.C. Indus. Dev. Agency

Court of Appeals of the State of New York
Nov 20, 2003
1 N.Y.3d 526 (N.Y. 2003)

Summary

holding that a worker was not covered by section 240 where he was injured while replacing air conditioning components that were damaged as a result of normal wear

Summary of this case from Lassig v. Woodward

Opinion

169

Decided November 20, 2003.

Submitted by Hunter J. Shkolnik, for appellant. Submitted by Ross P. Masler, for respondent New York

City Industrial Development Agency. Submitted by Timothy R. Capowski, for respondents American International Group, Inc. and American International Realty Corporation.

Chief Judge Kaye and Judges Smith, Ciparick, Rosenblatt, Graffeo and Read concur.


MEMORANDUM

The order of the Appellate Division should be affirmed, with costs.

Plaintiff was injured after falling from a ladder while attempting to remove a cover from an air conditioning unit on the 22nd floor of a commercial building in Manhattan. He was a member of Local 94 Operating Engineers Union, which did maintenance work for the building. American International Realty ("AIR"), a subsidiary of American International Group, leased the building from its owner, the New York City Industrial Development Agency. Plaintiff sued AIR, AIG, NYCIDA and the New York City Environmental Development Corporation in Supreme Court, New York County for violations of Labor Law §§ 240(1) and 241(6). On the date of the accident, plaintiff was performing a monthly maintenance check of the air conditioning units on the 22nd through 29th floors. This included taking amperage readings and checking belts, sheaves and bearings. When checking the 22nd floor unit, plaintiff discovered a low amperage reading and heavy vibrations. The motor appeared worn and loose, and the belts were "chewed up." He left and returned with tools and parts needed to fix the machine. As he climbed a ladder and began to remove the unit's cover a second time, the bottom of the ladder "kicked out" and he fell.

Supreme Court held that plaintiff could not sustain a claim under section 240(1), because he was not engaged in any of the covered activities. The Appellate Division affirmed, as do we. Section 240(1) applies where an employee is engaged "in the erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure." Although repairing is among the enumerated activities, we have distinguished this from "routine maintenance" (Smith v. Shell Oil Co. 85 N.Y.2d 1000, 1002). The work here involved replacing components that require replacement in the course of normal wear and tear. It therefore constituted routine maintenance and not "repairing" or any of the other enumerated activities.

As for Labor Law § 241(6), we have held it inapplicable outside the construction, demolition or excavation contexts (see Nagel v. D R Realty Corp., 99 N.Y.2d 98). Therefore, the maintenance work involved in this case fell outside that section's reach. We also agree that defendants satisfactorily established that plaintiff was a special employee of AIR.

On review of submissions pursuant to section 500.4 of the Rules, order affirmed, with costs, in a memorandum.


Summaries of

Esposito v. N.Y.C. Indus. Dev. Agency

Court of Appeals of the State of New York
Nov 20, 2003
1 N.Y.3d 526 (N.Y. 2003)

holding that a worker was not covered by section 240 where he was injured while replacing air conditioning components that were damaged as a result of normal wear

Summary of this case from Lassig v. Woodward

removing a cover from an air conditioning unit to fix the motor and belts

Summary of this case from Crescent Beach Club LLC v. Indian Harbor Ins. Co.

In Esposito v New York City Indus. Dev. Agency (1 NY3d 526, 528 [2003]), the plaintiff was injured while attempting to remove a cover from an air conditioning unit.

Summary of this case from Lyons v. Marvin Pocker, LLC

In Esposito, the Court held that "the maintenance work involved in this case fell outside [] section[] [241(6)'s] reach" (Esposito, 1 NY3d at 528).

Summary of this case from Lyons v. Marvin Pocker, LLC

In Esposito v New York City Indus. Dev. Agency (1 NY3d 526, 528 [2003]), the Court of Appeals reiterated that "[a]s for Labor Law § 241 (6), we have held it inapplicable outside the construction, demolition or excavation contexts," and found that a worker who was engaged in replacing parts of an air conditioner was outside the statute's reach.

Summary of this case from Rega v. Avon Prods., Inc.

In Esposito, plaintiff, worker, was injured in a fall from a ladder while attempting to remove a cover from an air conditioning unit in order to replace components that were worn out due to normal wear and tear.

Summary of this case from GOLDSMITH v. MARX
Case details for

Esposito v. N.Y.C. Indus. Dev. Agency

Case Details

Full title:RICHARD ESPOSITO, Appellant, v. NEW YORK CITY INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT…

Court:Court of Appeals of the State of New York

Date published: Nov 20, 2003

Citations

1 N.Y.3d 526 (N.Y. 2003)
770 N.Y.S.2d 682
770 N.Y.S.2d 683
802 N.E.2d 1080

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