Insurance Broker: Scaffold Law drives up cost of construction in New York

Jason Schiciano, a Westchester-based insurance broker, writes at the Journal News that:

There is a crisis in the construction insurance market that is costing New Yorkers billions. Every home, every school, every bridge costs more because of this crisis. Gov. Andrew Cuomo and our elected officials in Albany could fix it with the stroke of a pen, but so far special interests — in particular, the trial lawyers’ lobby — have blocked efforts at reform.

The crisis is caused by the so-called “Scaffold Law,” an archaic construction liability law that only exists in New York. The law holds contractors and property owners 100 percent liable for gravity-related construction jobsite injuries, even if they are as little as 1 percent at fault. Such a law runs counter to our most basic principles of justice.

The effect of the Scaffold Law is that liability insurance prices for construction projects here in New York are dramatically higher than anywhere else in the county.

Read more here.

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