Another construction tragedy recently occurred in New York City. At a Bed-Stuy construction site, a cinder block wall collapsed killing a 19-year-old construction worker and injuring two others. At the site, a one-story commercial building was being converted into a five-story structure that would also include residential units. The cinder wall was designed to hold back soil at the bottom of the building, but was not properly stabilized.
A complaint was received by the Department of Buildings last May, alleging that workers were not wearing masks on an asbestos abatement site, and that a wall at the location was “not stable.” The complainant also took photos to document the violations. Despite the Department of Buildings issuing a stop work order in July, the owner and contractor continued making repairs at the site.
The Department of Buildings had received a total of nine complaints related to construction on the site since August 2014 ranging from FDNY requests for structural integrity tests to citizens’ nuisance related complaints. A city official had commented that proper precautions were not taken regarding the excavation, and adequate support was not provided at the site. According to a New York Times article, the 19 year old victim of the collapse told his mother about several “close calls” that had occurred at work.
Construction accidents have been on the rise in New York City. According to statistics provided by the Department of Buildings, the number of construction related accidents in the first half of 2015 is equal to the number of accidents that occurred in all of 2014. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has recently formed a Task Force to address the issue of construction site safety violations.
Construction accidents are frequently preventable with proper safety precautions. If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed in a construction accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact an attorney who is experienced in representing clients who have suffered due to construction site related injuries. Call Georgaklis & Mallas PLLC at (718) 238-2400 or (212) 779-2400.