Corey Johnson’s MTA reform plan targets controversial Scaffold Law

Plan criticizes the law for driving up construction insurance costs

Mar.March 11, 2019 09:30 AM

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson under a sidewalk shed (Credit: I’m Just Walkin’ and Getty Images)

City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s plan to reform the MTA would include changing the city’s Scaffold Law, which places 100 percent of the liability on owners and contractors for workplace injuries.

Johnson’s plan says the law increases costs to cover negligence lawsuits, claiming that the cost of insuring a New York construction project is 10 times higher than insuring construction projects in other states, according to the New York Post.

Other states use a “comparative negligence standard” to determine whether injuries are the fault of workers or contractors, and Johnson’s plan calls on New York to adopt a similar standard.

The law has faced criticism before, but efforts to revise it at the state level have not gone anywhere thanks to opposition from trial lawyers and construction trade unions, along with their allies in the legislature.

Johnson’s MTA plan calls on the city to run subway and bus services, and it says that the Scaffold Law has caused the agency’s insurance costs to rise to “7 percent of contracted construction value.”

The plan says that, because of this, construction insurance companies “have either left New York altogether, reducing competition and increasing prices, or have remained while increasing premiums, which are passed on to all contracting entities.” [NYP] – Eddie Small

Related Articles

Boris Santos

A win for real estate: Socialist candidate halts Assembly bid

City Comptroller Scott Stringer (Credit: Getty Images)

City Comptroller Scott Stringer proposes “Tenant Bill of Rights”

Marlene Cintron, the Bronx’s head of economic development (Credit: iStock)

“It didn’t happen:” Bronx leader says Opportunity Zone program failed to deliver

From left: Eric Adams, Shaun Donovan, Scott Stringer and Ruben Diaz Jr. (Credit: Getty Images)

Mayoral race goes from bad to worse for real estate

Senator Todd Kaminsky and RXR Realty's Scott Rechler (Credit: Getty Images)

No backlash for senator who broke ranks on rent vote

From left: Bruce Molser, David Schechtman, Bob Knakal, David Greenbaum, and Judi Pulice

New York’s real estate bigwigs offer predictions for 2020

Mayor Bill de Blasio and subway damage caused by Hurricane Sandy (Credit: Getty Images)

Program to rebuild Sandy-damaged homes needs extra $92M

Donald Trump with Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II, Rep. Ron Kind and Sen. Cory Booker (Credit: Getty Images, iStock)

Trump’s Opportunity Zone program is under investigation