Once again our Partner Howard Hershenhorn was forced to respond to the ludicrous assertion by lawyers for master rigger William Rapetti who chose to rely on four pre-used and worn-out yellow polyester straps — called “slings,” — to secure a five-ton metal brace to the crane’s mast that Wayne Blinder, the Crane operator was at fault. The crane’s boom and its cab — with Wayne Bleidner, 51, helpless at the controls — broke off from the rest of the crane and catapulted onto the roof of a four-story brownstone on East 50th Street. Howard, quoted in The New York Post stated;
“It really cries of desperation,” says Bleidner’s lawyer Howard Hershenhorn, who is handling the family’s suit against Rapetti’s company.
“There have been four separate entities that have looked at this accident objectively — OSHA, the Department of Buildings, an engineering firm hired by the Department of Buildings, and Lehigh University, where the slings were sent,” Hershenhorn said.
“They have all said clearly and unequivocably that the accident was caused by the slings,” Hershenhorn said.
“To make matters worse, they are with this defense blaming the victim, who has never been involved in an incident before in 25 years as a crane operator — and who is not around to defend himself.”