Heating Up Scaffold Law Fight, Moya Introduces Bill to Open Insurers’ Books

Written by Jon Lentz on . Posted in Features, Heard Around Town, Labor/Unions, News, Real Estate/Construction.

A day after friends and foes of the state’s Scaffold Law descended on Albany to lobby lawmakers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated which way he leans in the debate over the controversial legislation.

Assemblyman Francisco Moya

Assemblyman Francisco Moya

“I would be open to reforms to the Scaffold Law,” Cuomo told reporters on Wednesday, without going into specifics.

The law holds property owners and developers of construction projects liable for worker injuries if they fail to provide the proper safety equipment, although critics claim that it lets workers off the hook, enriches trial lawyers and drives up costs.

Labor unions and construction worker advocates counter that it protects workers—and on Tuesday, Assemblyman Francisco Moya announced a new bill to open the books of insurance companies to see if the Scaffold Law is really raising costs.

“The industry has never backed these claims with hard actual data,” Moya said. “Given how critical this protection is to keep construction workers safe, particularly immigrants and Latinos who face the greatest dangers, it would be patently irresponsible for lawmakers to take any action on the law in the absence of this data.”

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