In the first part of this post, the injured party was an electrician who was shocked while working at a job site. The question was general one, so there were certain assumptions made in answering the first part of the question. Those assumptions were stated and the answers given were based on those assumptions. Similarly, there are assumptions made in this post, and those assumptions are stated and the response is made with those assumptions.

The first part of this post dealt with an electrician who was receiving no Worker’s Compensation benefits. The prior post suggested that the injured worker should make a Worker’s Compensation claim to obtain medical and lost wage benefits through the uninsured employer’s fund. The second claim the injured worker has is a lawsuit in Supreme Court against the job site owner and general contractor under the Labor Law.

There is an assumption that the job site was part of commercial building remodeling or new construction. If this accident occurred on a small repair of a one or two family home, none of the following information is applicable.

In this case, the injured worker can sue the general contractor and building owner for pain and suffering under Labor Law § 241(6). That particular statute places the burden for safety on a job site away from the injured worker’s employer to the general contractor and building owner. That means that the general contractor and building owner have  a “non-delegable” duty to maintain a safe worksite.

In order to maintain an action under Labor Law § 241(6), the injured party must plead and prove that the owner and/or general contractor violated a specific regulation promulgated by the New York State Department of Labor. There are thousands of such regulations. Unfortunately, only some of the regulations are deemed to outline specific duties. If the regulation in question outlines a general duty of safety, that regulation cannot be the basis for a Labor Law claim.

Over decades of caselaw in written decision from appellate authorities, the Courts have determined many regulations are specific enough to be the basis of a Labor Law claim. In this particular case, there are regulations that Courts have found to outline specific duties that when violated, form the basis of a claim under the Labor Law. Some the those regulations are found in 12 NYCRR 23-1.13. These regulations require general contrators, owners and employers to correctly label circuits and de-energize circuits when certain types of work are performed. 

This is not the end of the story. But this is the end of this post. There is no specific description of the accident. Depending upon what actually happened, there may be no case. The important lesson to this two part post is (1) obtain Worker’s Compensation benefits as quickly as possible to obtain medical treatment and lost wage benefits and (2) if possible, bring a claim for pain and suffering under the Labor Law in Supreme Court. There are many topics concerning Labor Law claims that will be covered in future posts.