An appeals court reinstated a jury decision in favor of a telecommunications installer who sued Target Corp. after he was injured after using one of the company's ladders to retrieve his tools. ] The Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, Second Chamber, of Brooklyn, on Thursday overturned the Suffolk County Supreme Court's decision to set aside a jury verdict in favor of the worker who sought restitution for his personal injuries.  On July 10, 2005, Cioffi, a communications technology services employee, installed a new paging system in a warehouse of a Target store as part of a renovation project. He had used a scissor lift and when he finished his work he removed the elevator. But he realized that his tool bag was hanging from a pipe and used a ladder inside the storage room that did not belong to CTS to retrieve it. When he was on the steps, it "kicked out" under him and made him fall to the floor and suffer injuries.
A jury found that Target was responsible for his injuries and claimed that the large box dealer violated his duty by not providing Cioffi with the necessary safety equipment and found that he was not the only immediate cause of his own accident. and or a conflicting worker.
Target moved to set aside the judgment and the judgment as a point of law dismissing the complaint, which was granted. Cioffi appealed.
The Court of Appeal reversed the court's decision and reinstated the jury's decision. The court noted that under New York labor law, a worker may be the only immediate cause of personal injury if adequate safety devices were available; both parties knew the devices were available and expected to be used, the worker chose, without good reason, not to wear the device and would not have injured if he had not chosen.
Although Target argued that there was no evidence that the steps were defective or insufficiently secured and that a defect or failure to secure was the cause of the worker's injury, the court found that both parties presented conflicting evidence as to whether adequate safety devices were available for Mr. Cioffi, if he knew he was expected to lose these devices and if he had good reason to choose to use Target & # 39 ;s ladder rather than some form of his employer.
The Court held that there was a "valid reasoning and permissible conclusions which could have led a rational jury to conclude that the plaintiff was neither a contradictory worker nor the sole immediate cause of his injuries."