While Governor Cuomo was in Washington on Tuesday, April 19th to promote his infrastructure and affordable housing construction projects, the Ulster County legislature passed a resolution calling on Cuomo and leaders of the state Legislature to reform the costly Scaffold Law. Ulster joins a majority of counties in passing such a measure. As the resolution states, “the increase in costs in New York drives away investment in our infrastructure when developers and contractors can get better rates in neighboring states.”
The Scaffold Law, which only exists in New York, holds contractors and property owners, including municipalities (like Ulster county), 100% liable in lawsuits for gravity-related construction site injuries, regardless of any contributing fault by the employee.
According to claims data provided by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the liability costs on one joint NY-NJ bridge project are more than doubled on the NY side. Researchers at the Rockefeller Institute of Government estimate that the law costs the tax payers $785 million annually.