Construction Worker Fatally Injured in Brooklyn Wall Collapse

One construction worker was killed and another was injured after a brick retaining wall collapsed at a Brooklyn construction site the afternoon of Dec. 28. According to an NBC New York news report, the fatal construction accident occurred when the crew was working at a two-family residential structure on 42nd Street in Sunset Park and the wall that was located in the backyard of the home, collapsed.

Inadequate Shoring Led to Collapse

A 39-year-old construction worker was fatally injured by the wall collapse. A second worker, 25, was rescued by firefighters from the rubble and transported to an area hospital for treatment after suffering life-threatening injuries. Officials said the wall was about 10 feet tall. Inspectors with the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) found that workers were hired to perform masonry repairs on a retaining wall for a building on 43rd Street, and were granted access to the adjoining backyard of the building on 42nd Street.

The department, however, had not issued any permits for construction on either property, officials said. Investigators found that the workers were excavating the length of the retaining wall without adequate shoring, which led to the wall collapse. DOB officials issued a partial vacate order for both backyards in the incident. The investigation is ongoing. We offer our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased worker and wish the injured victim the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

Preventing Wall Collapses

Retaining walls play an important role in worksites and in residential, commercial or industrial construction projects. They are used to hold soil in place in an outdoor or open area worksite and/or bear a load so a construction project can be safely completed. However, when these walls are not properly designed and built, their structural integrity might be compromised and there is the danger of a wall collapse. Walls that collapse at construction sites can lead to serious injuries, or even prove fatal. In some cases, when a wall collapses, there may be multiple injuries and fatalities.

Retaining walls at construction sites must be designed properly and built to code. There are a number of reasons why retaining walls at construction sites collapse. They might be built with inferior or incorrect materials or with inadequate design and engineering. Such cases tend to stem from poor or even a lack of communication between the teams that are working on the project. The wall also may not have been equipped with proper shoring components. In some cases, weather and water issues that weren’t properly planned for may also cause the collapse.

It is the job of construction companies, property owners, contractors and other parties involved in the project to communicate with one another so they are putting up retaining walls that are strong enough to withstand the conditions at the site.

Safety for the workers should be a top priority in a construction site – be it a worker near a retaining wall/trench or those who work at elevations with the help of ladders, scaffolds, platforms etc. such as ironworkers, steelworkers, carpenters, masons, laborers or electricians. Construction workers, laborers and managers are not safe at a site where a retaining wall or a scaffold, ladder etc. is damaged, defective, improperly secured and/or negligently (carelessly) engineered and constructed.

Contacting a Construction Accident Lawyer

Construction workers who have been injured in fall-related accidents may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which covers medical expenses and a portion of lost wages. In addition, workers may also be able to file a third-party claim against a negligent (careless) party other than the employer or co-employees for significant monetary damages and have two sources of compensation available for their losses. Examples of third parties include, but are not limited to, general contractors, construction companies, sub-contractors, building owners, managing agents etc.

If you have suffered injuries in a construction-related accident, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.

Our law firm recovered $3,375,576 for a construction worker (an undocumented immigrant) who was injured on the job – one of the highest construction case settlements in New York that year. Our law firm also recovered $3,000,000 for a man who fell and suffered two broken legs when he walked into an open elevator shaft. Also, one of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

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