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Homeowner Liability for Logger in Upstate New York New York

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  • Homeowner Liability for Logger in Upstate New York New York

    i hired a 25yo man to cut some trees on my property in upstate NY. After 4 weeks of weekend work the land was just a puzzle of trees on top of trees. He wanted to go rent a tractor to start moving them but we walked the land and found there was no suitably clear place to move them. He also stated the tractor was likely to get stuck anywhere he entered.

    He didn't express any solution so I suggested he stop cutting down trees and focus on cleanup, ie cutting the already downed trees into smaller logs and making small piles. He agreed this was the best plan.

    Following day I was inside on my laptop when I heard a loud scream. I ran out and found him pinned under a tree he had tried to cut down. He was airvaced to a hospital and underwent surgery for a broken leg and fractured ankle. My insurer took the basic info and I'm now in a holding pattern.

    My question is about a homeowner's exemption under labor laws 200, 240, 241. The latter states the a homeowner is exempt from liability if they don't exercise control over the worker. From what I have read the control has to be pretty specific as in controlling the methods and manner of work. I regard the instruction I gave him to be general - stop cutting trees and start doing cleanup of trees - but I'm not a lawyer and not sure where the dividing line is.

    Ironically the tree that fell on him was one of 3 trees he himself had repeatedly stated were too dangerous to cut by hand. Yet he ignored our agreement and cut 2 of the 3, the last causing the injury.

    What is my liability exposure here? Any advice appreciated.