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Absolute Uncertainty

 State: NY


IIABNY Calls for Changing or Abolishing Scaffold Law


The Independent Agents & Brokers of New York called on state lawmakers Tuesday to repeal or amend the state's 128-year-old scaffold law, which holds construction companies and property owners absolutely liable when a worker falls from any height.


IIABNY Chairman Andrew Kaufman said at a regulatory reform forum held by the New York Senate Majority Coalition that the scaffold law, comprised of Sections 240 and 241 of the New York State Labor Law, has severely restricted the liability insurance market and made the cost of construction increasingly expensive.


"Lack of coverage is preventing construction projects from proceeding (and) costing New York state jobs. When coverage can't be obtained, the cost of construction is needlessly driven up," Kaufman said in a press release after the hearing.


IIABNY is backing Senate Bill 111, which would add a comparative negligence section to the statute. The bill would require judges and juries to apportion awards when workers have committed a criminal act associated with the fall, failed to use safety gear provided by the employer, or were intoxicated or abusing drugs at the time.


SB 111 has the support of a coalition of business and construction groups but is opposed by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.


Source: WorkCompCentral

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