Cahill v. TRIBOROUGH

CourtNew York Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtR.S. SMITH, J.
Citation790 N.Y.S.2d 74,823 N.E.2d 439,4 N.Y.3d 35
PartiesTIMOTHY CAHILL, Respondent, v. TRIBOROUGH BRIDGE AND TUNNEL AUTHORITY, Appellant.
Decision Date21 December 2004

4 N.Y.3d 35
823 N.E.2d 439
790 N.Y.S.2d 74

TIMOTHY CAHILL, Respondent,
v.
TRIBOROUGH BRIDGE AND TUNNEL AUTHORITY, Appellant

Court of Appeals of the State of New York.

Argued November 16, 2004.

Decided December 21, 2004.


4 N.Y.3d 36
Ellenberg & Rigby, LLP, New York City (Kenneth Arthur Rigby, John Wiess and Elena Yun of counsel), for appellant

Fischbein Badillo Wagner Harding, New York City (Christopher

4 N.Y.3d 37
A. Marothy and Don Abraham of counsel), for respondent

Chief Judge KAYE and Judges G.B. SMITH, CIPARICK, ROSENBLATT, GRAFFEO and READ concur.

OPINION OF THE COURT

R.S. SMITH, J.

We decide in this case that, where an employer has made available adequate safety devices and an employee has been instructed to use them, the employee may not recover under Labor Law § 240 (1) for injuries caused solely by his violation of those instructions, even though the instructions were given several weeks before the accident occurred.

Facts and Procedural History

Since we are reviewing a grant of summary judgment in plaintiff's favor, we state the version of the facts most favorable to defendant that the evidence will support.

Plaintiff was employed in the reconstruction and repair of the Triborough Bridge. His work required him to go up and down wall-like structures known as "forms." A mechanical device called a "man lift" was sometimes available for this purpose, but when it was unavailable employees were expected to climb and to descend by using safety lines affixed to the forms. Employees

4 N.Y.3d 38
wore safety harnesses, equipped with lanyards that could be attached to a hook on the safety line. When the lanyard was attached, the safety line would prevent the worker from falling more than a short distance

With other workers on the Triborough Bridge construction site, plaintiff attended frequent safety talks that included instruction in the use of safety lines. In addition, several weeks before the accident involved in this case, plaintiff's supervisor, Anthony Dellamorte, "caught him" climbing a form without using a safety line. (Dellamorte remembered this incident as "a month-and-a-half" before the accident; plaintiff thought it was "less than a month" before.) Dellamorte explained to plaintiff the need to attach his lanyard to the safety line when climbing, and plaintiff, for the time being, complied.

On the day of the accident, plaintiff was working inside the upper part of a form, applying grease from a bucket to certain rods. He ran out of grease, went down to the ground to refill his bucket, and started to climb up again. The man lift was in use elsewhere, but plaintiff could readily have used a safety line to climb; such a line was attached to the side of...

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291 practice notes
  • Wojcik v. 42ND Street Development Project, No. 02 Civ. 7019(CSH).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 26 Agosto 2005
    ...before the accident were a sufficient basis for defendant's recalcitrant worker defense. Cahill v. Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, 4 N.Y.3d 35, 39, 790 N.Y.S.2d 74, 823 N.E.2d 439 In order to prevail on their motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's Labor Law § 240(1) claim, defen......
  • Scott v. 122 E. 42 St. LLC, No. 17472/2007.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 1 Marzo 2012
    ...caused his or her injuries ( see, Robinson v. East Med. Ctr., LP, 6 N.Y.3d 550, 554 [2006];Cahill v. Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Auth., 4 N.Y.3d 35, 39 [2004];Blake v. Neighborhood Hous. Servs. of N.Y. City, 1 N.Y.3d 280, 287 [2003] ). “Where there is no statutory violation, or where the pla......
  • Wallace v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp., No. 11 Civ. 5419(AJN).
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. Southern District of New York
    • 18 Marzo 2014
    ...or control the work” and “the plaintiff's own negligence does not furnish a defense,” Cahill v. Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Auth., 4 N.Y.3d 35, 39, 790 N.Y.S.2d 74, 823 N.E.2d 439 (2004)—courts have been careful to avoid extending the statute's protections beyond what the legislature intende......
  • FTBK Investor II LLC v. Genesis Holding LLC, 810163/2011
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 19 Agosto 2014
    ...opponent. Vega v. Restani Constr. Corp., 18 N.Y.3d at 503, 942 N.Y.S.2d 13, 965 N.E.2d 240 ; Cahill v. Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Auth., 4 N.Y.3d 35, 37, 790 N.Y.S.2d 74, 823 N.E.2d 439 (2004).III. PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENTThe parties do not dispute that Genesis Holding execut......
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298 cases
  • Scott v. 122 E. 42 St. LLC, No. 17472/2007.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 1 Marzo 2012
    ...caused his or her injuries ( see, Robinson v. East Med. Ctr., LP, 6 N.Y.3d 550, 554 [2006];Cahill v. Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Auth., 4 N.Y.3d 35, 39 [2004];Blake v. Neighborhood Hous. Servs. of N.Y. City, 1 N.Y.3d 280, 287 [2003] ). “Where there is no statutory violation, or where the pla......
  • FTBK Investor II LLC v. Genesis Holding LLC, 810163/2011
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 19 Agosto 2014
    ...opponent. Vega v. Restani Constr. Corp., 18 N.Y.3d at 503, 942 N.Y.S.2d 13, 965 N.E.2d 240 ; Cahill v. Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Auth., 4 N.Y.3d 35, 37, 790 N.Y.S.2d 74, 823 N.E.2d 439 (2004).III. PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENTThe parties do not dispute that Genesis Holding execut......
  • Dua v. N.Y.C. Dep't of Parks & Recreation, 110344
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 20 Septiembre 2017
    ...747 ; Vega v. Restani Constr. Corp. , 18 N.Y.3d at 503, 942 N.Y.S.2d 13, 965 N.E.2d 240 ; Cahill v. Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Auth. , 4 N.Y.3d 35, 37, 790 N.Y.S.2d 74, 823 N.E.2d 439 (2004). For purposes of determining the motion and cross-motion for summary judgment, at the oral argument ......
  • Fuller & D'Angelo, P.C. v. Cornerstone Hospitality Advisors, Index No. 111607/2009
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • 15 Septiembre 2011
    ...judgment, the court construes the evidence in the light most favorable to the opponents. Cahill v. Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Auth., 4 N.Y.3d 35, 37 (2004). Further, a "motion for summary judgment shall be supported . . . by a copy of the pleadings." C.P.L.R. § 3212(b) (emphasisPage 3added)......
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