Thomas M. Bona, P.C.

Attorneys At Law

Second Department:

Riding in Back of Pickup Truck Not Platform Covered Under Labor Law


As part of our continuing commitment to provide outstanding representation and to serve as an information resource, we wish to inform you of a recent decision concerning the Labor Law.  We have noted previously that all sorts of fact patterns are brought under the Labor Law in an attempt to gain its favorable treatment. A recent case decided by Second Department demonstrates an interesting fact pattern.


In Pruszko v. Pine Hollow Country Club, the plaintiff was injured while riding on the platform of a pickup truck. The plaintiff was performing demolition work on the property of the defendant. Co-defendant contracting company was the general contractor on the project. The plaintiff had been tasked with loading tiles and concrete into plastic containers, which were placed on the platform of the pickup truck. The foreman then drove the truck a short distance to a nearby dumpster.  At the foreman’s direction, the plaintiff rode on the back of the truck, with the tailgate closed to ensure that the containers remained in place. The accident occurred as the truck was returning with the empty containers when the rear wheel of the truck came into contact with a retaining wall. The truck came to a sudden stop and the plaintiff hit his left knee and fell to the bed of the truck.


Plaintiff commended an action under Labor Law Section 241(6) and the defendant moved for summary judgment dismissing the cause of action alleging violation of Labor Law Section 241(6). The lower court denied the defendants motion for summary judgment and the defendant appealed. The Second Department reversed.


The Second Department noted that the plaintiff based his cause of action under Labor Law '241(6) on an alleged violation of the Industrial Code which provided that no person shall be permitted to ride on . . . “a truck . . . except where a properly constructed and installed seat or platform is provided”. The defendants moved for summary judgment asserting that the platform of the pickup truck was not a “properly constructed and installed platform” within the meaning of the Industrial Code. The Court found that the defendants established that the platform of the pickup was not establish a violation of the Industrial Code, and the Court found that the defendant’s motion for summary judgment should have been granted.


Although the facts do not tell us if the “platform” on the pickup truck was actually the bed of the pickup, in Labor Law cases it is always important to probe the factual and legal basis for plaintiff’s claims so that where appropriate, a motion for summary judgment can be made.


Should you have any questions, please call.

Thomas M. Bona