The Chase Sensale Group Logo

No Mace For You

Police Officer's Labor Law Claim Based on Defective Mace Can Fails:

A New York appellate court ruled that a police officer's failure to allege that her injuries from an attack by a suspect were a "recognized hazard" for purposes of the Labor Law was fatal to her claim against her employer.

Case: Blake v. City of New York, No. 2011-11246, 08/14/2013, published.

Facts: Brenderline Blake, a police officer employed by the City of New York, suffered injuries in an altercation with a female suspect on the southbound platform of the Marcy Avenue subway station in Brooklyn.

Blake was attempting to subdue the suspect using a can of Mace, but the canister did not work.

Procedural History: Blake sued her employer, which had issued her the can of Mace, for a violation of General Municipal Law Section 205-e, predicated upon a violation of Labor Law Section 27-a(3) (a)(1).

Section 27-a(3)(a)(1) requires an employer to furnish its employees with a type of employment and a place of employment that are "free from recognized hazards" that cause or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to those employees.
Kings County Supreme Court Justice Richard Velasquez denied the NYPD's motion to dismiss Blake's lawsuit.

Analysis: The Appellate Division's 2nd Department said that Blake's lawsuit should have been dismissed as a matter of law.

Although a violation of Labor Law Section 27-a(3) may serve as a proper predicate for a cause of action alleging a violation of General Municipal Law Section 205-e, the court said Blake's failure to allege that her injuries resulted from a "recognized hazard" within the meaning of the Labor Law was fatal to her claim.

Disposition: Reversed.

To read the decision, click here.

Source:WorkCompCentral

Back to news >>>