By: Daily Record Staff//September 28, 2023
By: Daily Record Staff//September 28, 2023//
New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department
Intervening cause – Plaintiff’s own conduct
Appealed from Supreme Court, Erie County
Background: The plaintiffs commenced a Labor Law action for injuries he sustained when he was electrocuted while performing work on a circuit breaker at the defendant’s substation. The defendant appealed from the grant of summary judgment to the plaintiff.
Ruling: The Appellate Division held that there was a question of fact regarding the plaintiff’s intervening superseding cause of his injuries. The record is clear that the defendant failed to de-energize the circuit but the record establishes that electricians are supposed to test the wires for high voltage and attach grounds for protection and that the plaintiff would have been expected to do so. The Appellate Division further held that the risk inherent in the work resulted not from gravity but from the high voltage of the circuit breaker.
Paul D. McCormick, of Goldberg Segalla, for the defendant-appellant; Carl W. Morgan for the plaintiffs-respondents.