Construction and Scaffold Liability


Can homeowners be held responsible for injuries that may occur to contractors while work is being done on their property? Many homeowners love new home face-lifts, but did they ever think what a dangerous home improvement job consisted of? Well, what happens if a contractor is injured while working? Who is responsible for their medical costs?

With respect to homeowner liability for contractor injuries in New York, homeowners of one or two family dwellings are exempt from liability from any contractor injuries suffered while work was performed on their property under labor law § 240 & § 241, unless he or she has directed or controlled the work being performed.

Under New York State Law §§ 240 and 241 a homeowner can be found liable for any resulting contractor injuries only if their contractor can show the homeowner provided specific instruction as to how work is to be performed or the homeowner provided certain tools or equipment to be used.

When it comes to construction site safety, much construction litigation arises from disputes over Scaffold Law liability. Simply, the Scaffold Law makes certain contractors and project owners liable for injuries to workers on construction sites. The Scaffold Law has been criticized for the burdens it imposes on contractors and owners and for allowing workers to collect even if they have ignored safety rules.

As New York construction attorneys can tell you, Scaffold Law liability is broad, but several exceptions save contractors from liability. Most importantly, a contractor must have control over the project site and the activity during which a worker was injured. Otherwise, the contractor will not be held liable for worker injuries occurring on-site.

To learn more about Homeowner Liability for Contractor Injuries, please click here.

To learn more about Scaffold Law Liability, please click here.

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