Please send a message to Governor Hochul urging her administration to be bold and include Scaffold Law reform in her first Executive Budget proposal. A new day in New York means new opportunity to reform the notoriously wasteful Scaffold Law.
The only-in-New York Scaffold Law is devastating our state's economy and civil justice system. The antiquated Scaffold Law is the last of its kind in the country. By holding property owners and contractors absolutely liable in lawsuits for gravity-related worksite injuries, the law promotes litigation and drives up insurance rates for both public and private sector construction projects. It has gotten so bad that many insurance carriers will no longer write policies in our state. Proponents claim the law is about safety but researchers at Cornell University found that the law actually correlates with an increase in worksite injuries.
To be clear, this is not just a construction industry issue; our schools, bridges, and municipalities are all negatively impacted. The money wasted on this law should be spent on building educational facilities, maintaining parks, repairing roads, and putting New Yorkers back to work.
Please send a message to your elected representatives and urge them to support Scaffold Law reform. We propose that the law should be updated from the unjust "absolute liability" standard to a more reasonable "comparative negligence" standard – just as it is done in every other state and in every other aspect of our civil justice system.