clamp was holding the pipe is immaterial under 240(1).
The Chief Judge, accompanied by Judge Rivera, disagrees, finding it just as clear that plaintiff established his right to summary judgment under 240(1) because his injury was gravity-related and was proximately caused by defendants’ failure to provide an adequate safety device. “It requires little imagination,” suggests the Chief Judge, “to include that a tool capable of stabilizing the conduit pipe—whether brace, clamp, coupling, or otherwise—would be precisely the sort of device contemplated by section 240(1).” To focus, instead, “myopically on whether couplings fall under the statute, the majority loses sight of defendants’ burden on summary judgment.” It’s not that a particular device can be excluded from those mentioned in 240(1), but instead that defendants must show either a lack of a gravity-related risk or, where elevation is apparent, “deficient causal nexus” between failure of the device and the injury.
The majority, however, puts all its weight on the definition of a safety device in 240(1). Whatever it is, it’s not a screw coupling, inviting a cornucopia of decisions that will now re-write 204(1) via footnotes, “frustrat[ing] the Labor Law’s salutary purpose of ensuring worker protection.” [dissent]