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The New York Scaffold Law (Labor Law 240-241) requires real estate owners, developers and contractors for affordable housing properties to either furnish workers with or ensure they are provided equipment that will prevent them from falling or being struck by falling objects. Owners who do not provide the devices assume absolute liability, and can be held fully liable for an injury even if a worker knowingly assumed the risk or if negligence contributed to the accident.
The financial impacts are notable. In fact, some of the largest verdicts in New York State are delivered in Scaffold Law cases. While the liability risk that the law creates is troubling for owners and developers, proper risk management and contractual risk transfer practices can help reduce the costly exposures.
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