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January 10, 2019

The Honorable Carl E. Heastie
Assembly Speaker
New York State Assembly
LOB 932/CAP 349
Albany, NY 12248

Dear Speaker Heastie:

New York construction insurance costs are at crisis levels and are threatening the well-being of minority and
women-owned contractors across New York state. Research1 shows that construction insurance costs in New
York have been significantly inflated by the “absolute liability” standard of the Scaffold Law, which is preventing
our small businesses from growing and helping to fulfill the MWBE utilization goals set forth by the state
legislature.

If we want to fully realize the spirit of Article 15-A, which supports minority and women business development,
then we must reform the liability aspect of the Labor Law §§ 240 & 241, known as the Scaffold Law, while
preserving all of the statute’s important safety provisions. This can be accomplished by enacting A.05624 (2017-
2018) this upcoming session and changing the law’s standard of absolute liability to comparative negligence – as
outlined in CPLR § 1411 – which is the standard that exists in every other aspect of New York’s civil justice
system. This reform would afford workers and contractors the ability to defend themselves in court, make
construction insurance more available and affordable, and provide more MWBE’s with opportunities to compete
in the market.

For these reasons, we, the undersigned contractors, implore you to support a safe, fair, and effective scaffold
law by bringing A.05624 to a vote this upcoming session.

Very truly yours,

Catherine Pera Richie Balroop, Rajashekar R. Ravilla Carmen B. Weets Parag Mehta
Bison Contracting RB & Son General KC Engineering and Roundtable Builders LTD PM Architecture PC
Buffalo, NY Contractors Land Surveying, P.C. New York, NY New York, NY
Ozone Park, NY Circleville, NY

Nanci-jean DeNapoli Mohammad Mian Nayan Parikh Sunny Singh Jahid Minto
KND Electric Surge Inc. Ashnu International Shallu Construction Corp Zaman Construction Corp.
Deer Park, NY Bellerose, NY Woodside, NY Ozone Park, NY Ozone Park, NY

1 Arluck, J., Geddes, R., Li, X., & Rouhani, O. (2015). The Effects of New York’s Labor Law 240 on Worker Safety. Transportation Research
Board 94th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers. https://trid.trb.org/view/1337991.
Luis Segarra Janet Seals Joanne Cassidy David Rodriguez Rafael Burgos
Crescent Building Services Jordan Construction Ardent Construction & CTR Cleaning, Inc Citywide Telecom Corp.
Peekskill, NY Products Corp. Development, Inc. Bronx, NY Bronx, NY
Huntington, NY Bronx, NY

CC: Governor Andrew Cuomo
Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
Senator James Sanders Jr.
Senator Jessica Ramos
Senator John Flanagan
Assembly Member Crystal Peoples-Stokes
Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz
Assembly Member John McDonald
Assembly Member Marcos Crespo
Assembly Member Maritza Davila
Assembly Member Tremaine Wright
Assembly Member Rodneyse Bichotte