On behalf of Smiley & Smiley, LLP posted in Construction Accidents on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.
Mishaps at construction sites occur on a daily basis in New York City. A major incident happened recently when a massive construction crane got loose from workers while they were trying to lower it during high winds. It collapsed on top of pedestrians and parked cars in the street below. The crane was being taken out of operation due to winds of 20 to 25 mph, which is the limit for their safe use in the city. One man, a pedestrian, was crushed to death, and at least three others were injured, in the latest of a flurry of construction accidents in the city.
The crane smashed into a row of parked cars, creating a war zone scene near 40 Worth Street in Tribeca. This incident, along with a slew of other injuries and accidents at constructions sites recently, have raised serious concerns about the enforcement of safety regulations to protect construction workers and members of the public. Whether the accidents are primarily caused by the lack of supervision by contractors on site is unclear at this time.
However, regarding the crane incident in particular, one report from a city official indicates that municipal building officials have failed to implement many of the findings of a 2014 audit on construction crane safety. The deceased individual was a 38-year-old employee of a Wall Street investment firm who was walking to work at the time. Authorities pronounced him dead at the scene.
In New York, negligence principles generally govern the rights of victims who are injured or killed in construction accidents. If there was negligence that was a substantial factor in causing the injury or death, the decedent's estate and the injured victims may be entitled to collect damages. All negligent entities that were a substantial factor in causing the death or injury, are liable generally on the basis of their respective percentages of fault. The recovery here could be substantial for the family of the investment analyst due to his young age and the right to receive lost earnings for his estimated life expectancy up to retirement.
Source: USA Today, "1 dead, 3 injured in massive crane collapse in NYC", Kevin McCoy and Doug Stanglin, Feb. 5, 2016
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