Policy Issues

The Roundtable and 16 Real Estate, Insurance and Contracting Organizations Urge Passage of Infrastructure Expansion Act to Counter Inequities in “Scaffold Law”

January 29, 2018

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The Real Estate Roundtable, Associated General Contractors, and 16 U.S. organizations representing the contracting, insurance and real estate sectors urged the House Judiciary Committee and key congressional offices to swiftly pass the Infrastructure Expansion Act of 2017 (H.R. 3808), sponsored by Rep. John Faso (R-NY). 

H.R. 3808 is a common sense tort reform effort aimed at correcting inequities from New York State's outdated "Scaffold Law."  Passed during the Industrial Revolution – long before the advent of Federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Administration and workers' compensation laws – the Law holds property owners, employers, and contractors fully liable for all fall-related injuries at building and infrastructure construction sites. 

According to the coalition letter, the Infrastructure Expansion Act seeks to provide is a 21st century solution to ameliorate the harsh impact of an outdated 19th century law, which is restraining modern interstate commerce and economically burdening transportation projects that cross state lines.  

The coalition letter addressed to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) concludes that H.R. 3808 "… simply makes property owners, contractors, and workers accountable for their own choices and conduct at construction sites benefitting from Federal taxpayer dollars. We encourage swift passage of the 'Infrastructure Expansion Act.'"