State legislators are calling for reform to the one-of-a-kind statute on construction liability in next year's budget proposal.
New York lawmakers are demanding reform in the Legislature to the state construction liability statute, also known as the Scaffold Law. The law assigns “absolute liability” on claims against employers for gravity-related construction injuries. According to the Buffalo News, this means that New York courts do not take into consideration the employee’s potentially reckless actions or any other considerations against the employee.
The Scaffold Law costs taxpayers nearly $800 million per year and private businesses around $1.49 billion annually, according to an op-ed in Times Union. The inflated liability costs hurt everyone in the state except trial lawyers, and impede on New York’s competitive business environment. Many concerned legislators are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to consider Scaffold Law reform in his budget proposal for next year. Should Gov. Cuomo prioritize reform, worker safety can be re-structured to lift the burden from taxpayers and job creators.