Justice Richard F. Braun


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Gonzalez was injured during demolition work, in this personal injury action, when plywood and attached aluminum framing fell from a building facade and struck him. He moved for partial summary judgment on liability under Labor Law §§240(1) and 241(6) against owner HMC Times Square Hotel and general contractor, Turner Construction. The court found Gonzalez made a prima facie showing of entitlement to partial summary judgment on his §240(1) claim while defendants failed to raise a fact issue to the contrary, ruling Gonzalez put forth evidence showing plywood panels on the facade 10 metres above ground were partially removed by Allstate Interior Demolition employees. Yet, remaining pieces were not removed and defendants chose to use a preventative tape barrier on the ground below the loose panels and as Gonzalez was exiting from an unprotected doorway was struck by a falling facade panel. There was no evidence that Gonzalez was told not to use that stairway or disregarded the direction for no good Reason. Thus, his use of the exit adjacent to the demolition work was insufficient to raise an issue of fact of whether he was the sole proximate cause of his injury. Hence, partial judgment on liability for §240(1) was granted.