New York: Chuppah Can Qualify for Protection Under New York’s Scaffold Law

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chupahBased on a Reuters report: Yidden in New York have something new to worry about. A New York appeals court ruled Wednesday that a chuppah used at a chasunah can qualify for protection under New York’s scaffold law.

In a unanimous ruling, the Appellate Division, Second Department, said that a chuppah can fit the scope and meaning of “structure” as defined in New York Labor Law 240(1), sometimes known as the Scaffold Law, which requires owners to protect workers from fall-related injuries.

The underlying lawsuit was filed in 2009 by Samuel McCoy, a truck driver for a florist, seeking an unspecified amount in damages. McCoy was in the process of disassembling a chuppah when he slipped and fell from his ladder, sustaining injuries, according to the ruling.

The defendants, from a catering facility in Tarrytown that hosted the wedding, argued that the chuppah did not qualify as a structure and that McCoy had no standing to bring his claim.

Justice David Schmidt of Kings County Supreme Court granted McCoy’s motion for summary judgment and said that the chuppah in question qualified as a structure.

The Second Department panel agreed. Whether or not something is a structure is “fact-specific and must be determined on a case-by-case basis,” Justice Mark Dillon wrote for the court. “However, no one factor should be deemed controlling.”

While not every chuppah qualifies as a structure, this one — which consisted of various interconnected pipes secured to steel metal bases supporting the canopy — clearly did, he said.

“Undoubtedly, there are wide variations of chupahs, some involving a series of durable interconnected parts, and others being much more simple and merely decorative in nature,” Dillon wrote. “Whether or not a chupah qualifies as a ‘structure’ under Labor Law 240(1) requires a consideration of more than only the purpose for which it is used.”

Read the full report at Thomson Reuters.

{Noam Newscenter}


  1. The whole point of a chuppah is to take the kallah into the Chattan’s domain (R’shus). In theory the Chuppah should belong to the Chattan.
    Thus, Judge Schmidt, the “mentch”, as he is known in political circles, is correct in more then one way.


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