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Fanning v. Rockefeller University

Supreme Court of New York, First Department

May 14, 2013

Daniel Fanning, Plaintiff-Respondent, The
v.
Rockefeller University, et al., Defendants-Appellants.

Cornell Grace, P.C., New York (Keith D. Grace of counsel), for appellants.

Hogan & Cassell, LLP, Jericho (Michael Cassell of counsel), for respondent.

Friedman, J.P., Richter, Feinman, Gische, Clark, JJ.

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Saliann Scarpulla, J.), entered August 13, 2012, which granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability under Labor Law § 240(1), and denied defendant's motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

Plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment on his Labor Law § 240(1) claim was properly granted. Plaintiff established prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law through testimony that when the unsecured ladder on which he was working suddenly moved, he fell, causing him to sustain injury ( see Betancur v Lincoln Ctr. for the Performing Arts, Inc., 101 A.D.3d 429 [1st Dept 2012]; Krejbich v Schimenti Constr. Co., Inc., 94 A.D.3d 668 [1st Dept 2012]). He was not required to present

further evidence that the ladder was defective ( see Orellano v 29 E. 37th St. Realty Corp., 292 A.D.2d 289, 290-291 [1st Dept 2002]). Defendants failed to raise a triable issue of fact by presenting conflicting evidence with regard to whether the A-frame ladder was 6 or 10 feet and whether it was made of wood or fiberglass, since the statute was violated under either description ( see Lipari v AT Spring, LLC, 92 A.D.3d 502, 504 [1st Dept 2012]). Defendants' argument that plaintiff was the sole proximate cause of his accident because he chose a ladder too short for the work he was performing is speculative and thus, fails to raise an issue of fact ( see Pichardo v Urban Renaissance Collaboration Ltd. Partnership, 51 A.D.3d 472, 473 [1st Dept 2008]).

In light of the grant of plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment on liability, defendants' arguments regarding plaintiff's claims for common law negligence and Labor Law § § 200 and 241(6) are academic ( see Carchipulla v 6661 Broadway Partners, LLC, 95 A.D.3d 573 [1st Dept 2012]).


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