However, many of the projects the governor touted, such as rebuilding the Strand Theater, will cost more because of an outdated and unnecessary law.
The law is called Labor Law 240, also known as the “Scaffold Law,” and it automatically holds contractors and property owners fully liable in lawsuits for elevation-related accidents, even if the employee was intoxicated or ignoring safety training.
So if employees come to work drunk and hurt themselves, the employer or property owner is liable. New York is the only state in the nation to still have such a law, and because of it, much of the state’s investment in the North Country will be wasted
Labor Law 240 is the reason construction insurance rates in New York are the highest in the nation by over 300 percent, which drives up the cost of public and private development and keeps firms from hiring new workers.
In many cases, companies have been forced to lay off workers or turn down projects because of liability costs. And consumers pay for those higher insurance rates. Estimates suggest the Scaffold Law adds about $10,000 to the cost of building just one new home in New York.
How can New York rebuild if we can’t afford the cost of construction? The governor’s commitment to the North County is admirable, but the region needs jobs and investment after the state’s economic development dollars have run out. Reforming the Scaffold Law would provide continued and sustainable benefits, at no cost to taxpayers. It’s time to fix this law once and for all.
THOMAS B. STEBBINS
Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York
TO THE EDITOR: On Thursday, Oct. 11, Sasha, the therapy dog, passed from this life to a heavenly one.
The 11-year-old German Shepard and her owner/mother, Patricia Perry, were regular Sunday morning visitors to CVPH Medical Center, brightening the day for both young and old, patients and families. Sasha was always willing to dress for any occasion and led the hospital’s Halloween parade for many years. She also donned bunny ears and a tail for the children’s Easter egg hunt on the hospital lawn.