Many Dangerous New York City Buildings Remain Uninspected

A new audit by City Comptroller Scott Stringer shows that the New York City Department of Buildings blew deadlines or failed to re-inspect dangerous buildings that threatened public safety more than 5,400 times. According to the New York Post, Stringer’s investigation revealed that the Department of Buildings (DOB) failed to conduct 2,986 of the nearly 6,381 required re-inspections within the 60-day timeline mandated under the administrative code.

Audit Uncovers Failures

The audit also showed that the DOB never scheduled another 596 reviews and did not meet its 60-day deadline with another 1,819 follow-ups. Stringer said these lapses are serious because “no one should have to live or work in fear of debris or unstable scaffolding crashing down on them in a home, place of work or at any other site in this city.”

He said his department’s audit of the DOB’s internal procedures have uncovered multiple failures that pose a direct risk to public safety. The audit focused on the violations that have been identified as “posing a threat of imminent danger to public safety or property.” Stringer’s office revealed that the DOB frequently misses its internal goals for reviewing paperwork and ensuring repairs are properly completed.

However, city officials broadly defended the agency’s performance saying they are improving service levels across the agency to deal with a “significantly expanded workload.” Stringer’s review was published nearly a year after a chunk of a building’s facade fell on to the street in Midtown, striking and killing a woman who was walking on the sidewalk below. DOB inspectors had cited the building on 7th Avenue months before that fatal incident for failure to maintain its facade and noting that the damaged terra cotta in several locations above the 15th floor posed a falling hazard for pedestrians.

Liability Issues

There are a number of factors that contribute to a property’s deterioration including the building materials used and the installation of that material. Faulty design and construction can play a part as well. A New York construction accident lawyer will help identify all the parties that can be held accountable in these types of cases.

Debris-related accidents tend to result in catastrophic if not fatal consequences for passersby and pedestrians. Such incidents may result in major injuries such as head trauma, spinal cord injuries, multiple broken bones, internal organ injuries, etc. These types of injuries have the potential to result in lifelong injuries and disabilities. Several tragic and fatal incidents in New York City have underscored the need for building owners and managers to be diligent about doing regular facade inspections and carrying out the necessary repairs when facades are not strong enough or present dangers to pedestrians.

There are several parties that may potentially be held liable for construction site injuries involving bystanders or pedestrians. Construction companies including contractors and sub-contractors have a responsibility to ensure that scaffolds and other structures at a construction site are properly secured so they don’t pose a danger to workers, visitors or pedestrians who are passing by the worksite.

In such cases, injured bystanders or passersby can seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, cost of hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injury, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. Liable parties in such cases may include construction companies, general contractors, sub-contractors, property or building owners/managers, manufacturers of defective products, etc.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

Whether you are a construction worker who has suffered injuries in a construction site accident or a bystander or pedestrian who has been injured by falling debris at a construction site., 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. 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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