One worker died and three others were injured in a construction accident after the rear wall of a building that was under demolition collapsed in Lower Manhattan the afternoon of March 7. According to a New York Post news report, the wall of the three-story, unoccupied building collapsed fatally crushing the construction worker under the debris. FDNY officials said when the wall caved in, one of the workers was trapped under the debris and two other workers fell on top of the debris. A fourth worker was also injured.
The worker who was buried under the rubble had to be dug out by firefighters who arrived at the scene. The critically injured victim was transported to a local hospital with life threatening injuries and later died. The three other victims suffered non-life-threatening injuries. A security guard who was working nearby said the wall collapse “happened suddenly.” We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased construction worker. We wish the injured workers here the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
Safety Violations at the Worksite
The building was slapped with five violations by the New York City Department of Buildings on Feb. 6, according to online records. The violations were for “failure to remove hazardous materials and fixtures prior to the start of the demolition; sprinklers removed from the building out of sequence of the demolition plans; and tarps unsafely hanging from the scaffold.”
The violations also included “storing 50 tons of construction material on the first floor, which was overloading the floor.” DOB officials said this fatal incident was not connected to those violations, which have since been fixed. However, a hearing has been set for April 13. A partial stop order had been issued for the site Feb. 7, but work was up and running again on Feb. 10 after the violations had been remedied. This death marks the first building construction fatality in New York City this year.
Who is Liable for a Wall Collapse?
There are a number of reasons why walls and structures collapse at construction sites. In some cases, these structures may have been built with improper materials or with inadequate design or engineering. In other instances, there may have been poor communication between the teams working on the project. Also, the collapsed wall may not have been equipped with proper shoring components. Weather and water issues that weren’t properly planned and accounted for may also cause these types of incidents. When building/wall collapses injure workers or bystanders, the responsible parties may be held financially liable for damages.
General construction companies, managing agents, building owners, some contractors and sub-contractors have a responsibility to ensure that walls, facades, scaffolds and other structures at a construction site are properly secured so they don’t pose a danger to workers, visitors or pedestrians at or near the worksite. If you have been injured as the result of poorly maintained or poorly secured construction site, please understand that you have legal rights.
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. In cases where a worker dies from injuries suffered on the job, surviving family members may seek death benefits through workers’ compensation and/or file a wrongful death claim against a third party.
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, lead poisoning and medical malpractice cases including, brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) and cerebral palsy cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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