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Summary Judgment Granted to the Defense in Labor Law 240(1) case

Iannaccone v. United Natural Foods, et al. 

Plaintiff worked for Protection One, which was later bought out by ADT.  He was sent to United Natural Foods to replace a security camera in their parking lot.  Plaintiff found that the pole stood in some landscaping rocks, but rather than place the foot of his ladder in the parking lot, he positioned it directly on the rocks.  Though his employer provided him with safety equipment, he chose not to bring it with him to the scene.  The ladder shifted and he fell, causing a serious injury.

Plaintiff could not sue his employer, due to Workers Compensation exclusivity.  He sued United Natural Foods, which then brought Protection One in as a third party, based on the indemnity provision in the contract between the two parties.  United Natural and Protection One moved for summary judgment against plaintiff, arguing that he was the “sole proximate cause” of his accident, and was a “recalcitrant worker” for refusing to use safety equipment that Protection One made available to him.

After oral argument, the Court granted summary judgment against plaintiff.  In light of the dismissal of the main action, Protection One (ADT) is now liable only for UNF’s counsel costs.

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