Court Grants Defendant Port Authority’s Pre-Answer Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Labor Law §§240(1) and 241(6) Claims By Holding That Port Authority is Not Subject to New York’s Labor Law

In a decision dated January 4, 2019, the Hon. Barbara Jaffe granted our client the defendant Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s pre-answer motion to dismiss plaintiff’s causes of action pursuant to Labor Law §§240(1) and 241(6). The plaintiff, a Local 361 iron worker employed by Skanska/Walsh Joint Venture, claims he was injured while working at the Terminal B Project at LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York, when a 2,000 lb. steel beam allegedly tipped over and fell and knocked him to the ground, pinning him underneath it onto a stack of beams. In reaching its decision to dismiss the Labor Law causes of action as against the Port, the Court noted that the Port is an interstate entity created by compact and is not subject to New York’s Labor Law. As a bi-state agency immune from regulation by a single state, New York’s Labor Law cannot apply to the Port absent indication that New Jersey has enacted a similar law concurrently with the enactment of New York’s law or that the law states expressly that it is intended to apply to the Port.  Finally, the Court determined that the statutory waiver of sovereign immunity does not alter this result.

Robert Riegger v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey et al., Index No. 151576/2018 (N.Y. Co. Sup. Ct., Jan. 4, 2019)

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This post was written by Sander Rothchild