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N.Y. Injured Prisoner Held Partially Liable For Facility's Inadequate Equipment And Supervision

New York State prisoner Charles Moran brought suit against the state for labor law violations and improper supervision and equipment after falling from a ladder at the Watertown Correctional Facility (WCF) in 2002. The labor law claims were dismissed but the state was held liable for 75 percent of his injuries.

Moran's ladder feet sank into the ground while painting a pipe at the WCF causing him to fall and dislocate his ankle. His suit alleged that a lack of cleats and braces precluded the ladder's safe operation. He claimed that the guard, in charge, Terry Parent, failed to instruct him on the safe usage and operation of the equipment and sent the prisoner in charge of "spotting" the ladder back to his cellhouse. He alleged that this left the site insufficiently protected in violation of Labor Law § 241(6) as well as violating §*240(1) for elevation related hazards.

The New York Court of Claims at Syracuse held that no labor law claim existed because Moran was not a state employee but that the state was liable for his injuries. The court further held Moran responsible for 25 percent of the injuries for comparable negligence for continuing to work once the "spotter" left and remanded for damages. See: Moran v. New York, Case No. 106923 (N.Y. Dec. 21, 2005).

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Related legal case

Moran v. New York