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Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf is a New York Plaintiff's personal injury law firm specializing in automobile accidents, construction accidents, medical malpractice, products liability, police misconduct and all types of New York personal injury litigation.

Articles Tagged with New York Construction Accident

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Cy VanceLast year 22 year old Carlos Moncayo died in a  construction accident in New York. The young worker was crushed to death by a collapsing  wall on the site of the former Pastis restaurant in the Meatpacking district, in lower Manhattan, NYC. Prior to the accident, Harco, the contractor, had been warned by an  independent engineer  that the construction site was unsafe and that it should be closed.  The contractor refused and Carlos died. (See previous blogs here and here)

A coalition of 22  groups including District Attorney Vance and then Building Trade Employers’ Association (BTEA) are asking the judge to impose the maximum sentence on  Harco.  Harco was found guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment by Judge A. Kirke Bartley.  The D.A.  Also requested that the contractor pay for an advertising campaign to promote  worker safety this fall in New York.

Read more in the Real Deal 

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A man was seriously injured after a piece of plywood from a security fence at a  construction site fell on him. The man was walking on the sidewalk at the South East  corner of 30th St. and Fifth Avenue in NYC yesterday around 4 PM when the accident happened. An 8 feet long piece of plywood that was not properly secured fell on him, knocking him down to the ground. He was transported to the hospital in serious condition.  See video below for more.

A similar accident happened in the West Village at the beginning of the year. A woman who was passing by was killed by a piece of plywood that detached from a construction site security fence. See previous blog 

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Construction_worker_harnessFalls are the leading cause of death in construction accidents in New York and in the U.S. Some of them are caused by inadequate safety measures while others occur even though all OSHA safety measures were followed by the construction workers.

Steelworkers for example are allowed to to work up to a height of 25 feet without the use of a safety harness. OSHA rules also permit construction workers climbing a scaffold to unhook their attachment and hook it again to a higher tie-off point as they ascend.

Some contractors in New York believe OSHA rules are not strict enough and require all their workers to use a harness when they work 6 feet and higher above the ground. Some NY construction companies also require that workers climbing scaffolds use two harnesses so they are constantly hooked onto something and protected. Gilbane Building is among the contractors in New York that require all workers to follow these two rules.

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liftA hydraulic crane crashed into a building in New York yesterday. The accident occurred at 133 Essex Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Witnesses living in the neighborhood told the NY Daily News that they had been worrying about the crane for a few days. They mentioned that the crane was “funny looking”. Before crashing into a window of the building’s 6th floor the crane slowly tipped for two hours. After the accident, the FDNY received a request from the DOB to conduct a structural stability inspection. The results show the stability of the building was satisfactory but officials still ordered tenants from the top floors to evacuate their apartments.

The NYC Department of Building issued a stop work order for the construction site. In the past the construction site was hit with several complaints and violations. They have all been resolved or dismissed with the exception of a violation related to the elevator. The contractor,  Jepol Construction, was also hit with a violation for “failure to safeguard the site”.

Picture courtesy of Wikipedia shows the type of crane that crashed into the building



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printing houseA construction worker died after a scaffolding plank fell on his head at a New York construction site. 32 year old Luis Mata, was dismantling scaffolding at the Printing House Luxury Condos on Hudson Street when one of the planks became loose and fell 10 stories on his head. The construction worker was wearing a hard hat but the impact was so strong that he suffered severe head and neck injuries. He later died from his injuries at the hospital. Luis Mata was a non union worker from Mexico. He was living with his uncle in Westchester County. He was supporting his mom in Mexico.

Unfortunately we are seeing an increasing number of construction site accidents on non union jobs, as a result of contractors not implementing proper safety measures.

Following the accident, the NYC Department of Building issued a partial stop work order on the building. DOB records for the building located at 421 Hudson Street show that at the time of the fatal accident, the building had 6 open ECB violations including two class 2 and two class 1 violations  as well as 8 DOB violations.

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carlos monkayoLast year Carlos Moncayo died in a construction accident in New York. Moncaya was working on a construction site located at 9-19 Ninth Ave in the meatpacking district in Manhattan where the old Pastis restaurant was turned into a Restoration Hardware Store. The 22 year old construction worker was buried in a pit after unstable soil gave way. The accident was fully preventable. An hour before it happened an inspector warned the two construction site supervisors, Alfonso Prestia and Wilmer Cuerva that the 13 foot deep pit wasn’t proprely re-enforced and that nobody should get in the trench. Both men ignored the warning. An hour later the inspector saw 4 men in the pit and rushed again to the two supervisors to urge them to halt work. Two hours later the supervisors finally decided to call the crew out of the pit but it was too late. The trench collapsed and Moncaya died. The two supervisors were charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. According to recent court papers, the two supervisors are now blaming each other for the fatal construction accident. Prestia says that he wanted to fire the foremen who created the unsafe conditions but that Cuevas always opposed it. Read more in the NY Daily News 

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1229 45th streetA 21 year old worker died in a construction accident in Brooklyn NYC. Yesterday afternoon Alex Santizo from Queens was working on the construction site of a two-family townhouse on 45th street near 12th Ave in Borough Park, Brooklyn. He was on the second floor of the house when the roof collapsed. Santizo was hit by debris then he tumbled into an airshaft and landed two stories below in the basement.  The young man died from his injuries at the hospital. Records from the New York City DOB indicate that the building located at 1229 45th street had a total of 11 complaints that all had been resolved before the accident happened. The construction site was also the subject of 13 violations with 7 of them still open.  Read more in the NY Daily News 

Picture source: Google map

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Tappan Zee Bridge3 men died after their tugboat crashed into a barge at a Tappan Zee Bridge construction site on Saturday morning.

63 year old Paul Amon from New Jersey, 29 year old Timothy Conklin from Long Island and 56 year old Harry Hernandez from Staten Island were the 3 crew members of the  tugboat “Specialist” that sank Saturday morning after crashing into a stationary construction barge belonging to Tappan Zee Constructors . The rescuers were able to find the bodies of Amon and Conklin. Searches to find Hernandez who is presumed dead were suspended sunday night according to The Associated Press.

The accident happened Saturday morning. The “Specialist” was one of three tugboats that were pushing a crane barge from Albany to New Jersey. The “Specialist” was located at the right of the barge while the second tugboat was on the left and the third one in the back. As they arrived at the Tappan Zee Bridge construction site, the “Specialist” hit a stationary construction barge. Before the accident happened, the crew sent a radio message saying “”We are too close. We have to move left,” but it was too late. The tugboat sank 40 feet within minutes with the 3 men on board. The tugboat also leaked into the Hudson some of the 5000 gallons of fuel that were on board at the time of the accident.

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After a construction worker died and four others suffered personal injury in a construction accident in Brooklyn, NYC, in 2011, the negligent “special instructor” who failed to perform crucial safety inspections on the site of the accident had his license revoked by the New York City Department of Buildings on Friday.

Back in 2011, Steven Schneider, an engineer, was hired as a special safety inspector on the construction site of a 14-unit condo building in Brighton Beach. As part of his duties Schneider was required by the code to perform structural tests such as testing of steel and masonry construction, structural stability and underpinning of adjacent buildings. Investigations show that Schneider never performed any of these tests and therefore didn’t notice that construction workers  had improperly poured concrete on unstable steel structures. This gross negligence led to the collapse of several floors of the building.  During the accident several workers were buried in the debris. Among them was Ivan Lende, a 54 year old worker from the Ukraine who died in the accident. Four of his colleagues were injured. Investigation results also show that Schneider  was unable to provide inspection documentation at many other NYC sites where he had been hired as a safety instructor. Not only did Schneider have his license revoked by the NYC DOB but his case was also referred to the state for “further disciplinary action”.

The DOB also announced Friday the revocation of the plumbing license of Andrew Trombetta. Andrew Trombetta is a master plumber who was involved in the East Village gas explosion that killed two people and injured many others in March 2015. Andrew Trobetta rented his licensed to the unaccredited plumber who installed the illegal hook up that led to the explosion. Earlier this month he was charged with falsifying inspection reports while four other people were charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.

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deblasioA week after a man died in a crane collapse in New York, the Mayor announced that the city will kick off a massive inspection blitz of construction sites and quadruple penalties for serious violations of safety on construction sites. The construction boom in the city has led to a dramatic increase of construction accidents. Last year there were 433 accidents, an increase of 75%  compared to 2014. Before the boom in 2009 there were  218 accidents, 98% less than in 2015.  According to DOT investigations, most of the construction accidents that happened last year in New York City could have been prevented if the contractor had simply followed the existing safety rules. Unfortunately too often contractors and developers are cutting corners and putting the life of their workers at risk to increase their profit.

Despite the cold weather Mayor de Blasio held his press conference in front of a East Village Construction site where a construction worker fell to his death on Christmas Eve. 33 year old Luis Alberto Pomboza, was working on the renovation of a multi-family  townhouse at 356 East 8th Street. Pomboza was demolishing a wall when a large portion of the wall fell on him and caused him to fall 4 stories. An Ecuadorian immigrant and father of 5, Pomboza was transported to the hospital in critical condition. He later died there from serious head trauma.  The construction site superintendent who was legally required to be on the construction site to ensure the safety of workers and the public wasn’t there when the accident happened. De Blasio indicated that last year 70% of the construction accidents in New York City occurred in buildings with 10 stories or less. Therefore the investigation blitz  that starts this week will focus on these types of construction sites. Inspectors will target contractors with bad safety records and working on buildings lower than 10 stories as well as all construction sites higher than 15 stories. The DOB will inspect a total of 1,500 job sites in the 90 coming days.

Fines for “serious failures to safeguard construction sites” will increase from $2,400 to $10,000 and if the construction site is lacking a site superintendent the penalty will reach a maximum of $25,000 instead of $5,000. Additionally starting in July, superintendents will be required for all major construction projects at buildings under 10 stories. Superintendents will be required to log daily reviews of site safety.