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7 Foundational Rules to Better Understand Section 240 Claims

Rule #1: Absolute liability or strict liability refers to the non-delegable, vicarious responsibility of owners, contractors and their agents for non-compliance with the statute.

Rule #2: Comparative negligence is not a defense to an injury proximately caused by a violation of the statute.

Rule #3: A defendant may delegate to another, by contract, the duty to comply with the statute but cannot delegate away the first instance responsibility to pay plaintiff damages if the person to whom the duty was delegated fails to comply with the statute.

Rule #4: When the owner, contractors and their agents delegate the duty, by contract or subcontract, each successive person/entity that assumes that duty becomes liable to indemnify the assignor for all damages incurred by the assignor, by reason of the vicarious liability to plaintiff, imposed by the statute, with 2 notable exceptions.

Rule #5: On a motion for summary judgment plaintiff must prove:

Rule #6 When no safety devices have been provided, the statute has been violated as a matter of law.

Rule #7 When a safety device has been supplied the issue of whether it provides proper protection will normally present a question of fact, except where it collapses, slips or is not properly positioned, or when it otherwise fails to properly perform its function.