Construction
Accidents

Premises
Liability

Motor Vehicle
Accidents

How many New York construction workers die each year?

Incredibly, feds and the state government disagree.

A young father works a shift under conditions of extreme heat, collapses and dies in Brooklyn after clocking out. In the wake of this tragedy, New York City neither investigated nor counted Alton Louis’ death in their statistics of workplace fatalities.

The Department of Buildings is the state agency tasked with regulating construction safety. The department’s position has been that it only looks into fatalities that involve building code violations. Since Mr. Louis had completed his shift and died his death was likely related to a heat-related issue, his death did not count as a workplace fatality.

Numbers impact investigations and regulations

During 2015, the Department of Buildings counted only 12 of the reported 18 construction-related fatalities, which included a passerby killed by falling debris. The people who lost their lives on the job, but were not counted, include a veteran, a construction safety worker, an ironworker and a truck driver.

While many consider a death a death, the Department of Buildings doesn’t see it that way. They limit their tally to fatalities that pose a threat to public safety. In other words, it counts instances that could create a danger to the public and workers. Although OSHA has cited employers in undocumented deaths, the department continues to operate under criteria that may be too narrow to adequately support overall worker safety interests.

Likewise, the Department of Investigation’s Construction Deaths Task Force failed to look into four of the six omitted fatalities. When Mr. Louis died while working on the top floor of an affordable housing development, OSHA cited the company because the temperature had risen as high as 105 degrees and it had no heat safety plan in place.

And while OSHA has been more thorough, its implementation has raised a few eyebrows as well.

In all but one instance of significant violations, OSHA has cited nonunion contractors. Representatives argue that union shops meet safety standards because workers have a greater sense of protection. If a job or practice appears dangerous or below code, they can decline to perform a task until their shop steward is consulted. Nonunion workers may feel more pressure to comply even when not comfortable for fear of losing their job. Nonunion groups argue that the growing number of violations is merely due to an increased slice of the labor pie.

Regardless of the criteria used to track workplace fatalities, safety should be paramount for the feds, state agencies and employers alike. At the end of the day, workers lives are on the line.

Verdicts &
Settlements

$3.75 Million

settlement for a construction worker injured by falling metal mesh

Verdicts & Settlements

$3.5 Million

Million for a carpenter injured on a construction site by a falling metal clamp

Verdicts & Settlements

$3 Million

for a 35 year old Carpenter injured when his arm became partially impaled on an improperly exposed metal support (rebar) at a construction site.

Verdicts & Settlements

$2 Million

for a woman who sustained multiple serious injuries after being struck by a hit and run driver in Manhattan.

Verdicts & Settlements

$1.825 Million

Verdict for a 29 year old construction worker injured during the building of the World Trade Center Memorial.

Verdicts & Settlements

$1.475 Million

for a Carpenter who was injured when the scaffold he was working upon collapsed.

Verdicts & Settlements

$1.2 Million

for a 35 year old Cement and Concrete worker from Queens who sustained serious injuries to his back when he slipped on debris and refuse.

Verdicts & Settlements

$1.2 Million

for a Construction worker and young father in the Bronx who was fatally electrocuted while on a scaffold.

Verdicts & Settlements

$950,000

for two sisters in high school who sustained serious injuries when struck by a vehicle that mounted the sidewalk in Brooklyn as they waited for the bus to take them to school.

Verdicts & Settlements

$825,000

for a woman injured as a passenger in an accident involving a bus and a car in the Bronx.

Verdicts & Settlements

$777,000

for an Ironworker on Long Island who sustained serious injuries when he fell from a ladder which slid out from under him due to icy footing.

Verdicts & Settlements

$750,000

for a surgeon who sustained a broken knee in a motor vehicle accident (January, 2017).

Verdicts & Settlements

$660,000

verdict for a 35 year old Cement and Concrete laborer who was injured when the scaffold he was walking upon collapsed.

Verdicts & Settlements

$650,000

for a cement and concrete worker who slipped and fell over construction debris.

Verdicts & Settlements

$650,000

for a Cement and Concrete worker who injured his back as a result of slipping upon a discarded pipe and falling down a flight of steps.

Verdicts & Settlements

$500,000

for a Nursing Home resident injured due to lack of proper care.

Verdicts & Settlements

$325,000

for a woman who sustained multiple serious injuries to her shoulder as a result of a trip and fall upon a defective sidewalk at a construction project in Manhattan.

Verdicts & Settlements

$250,000

verdict in the exact amount demanded by our office for our client, but refused by the responsible defendants, was awarded by the jury to our client who sustained a fractured elbow as a result of a fall upon a badly broken sidewalk.

Verdicts & Settlements

$325,000

for a young woman who sustained a fractured ankle as a result of a fall on soapy steps in her apartment building in the Bronx.

Verdicts & Settlements

$495,000

for a young mother who was struck by a car while crossing the street near her home in Queens sustaining serious injuries to her leg requiring the surgical placement of a metal plate and screws.

Verdicts & Settlements

$600,000

for a woman who sustained multiple injuries as a passenger in a motor vehicle accident.

Verdicts & Settlements

$425,000

was secured by our office for a Cement and Concrete worker injured when a work area collapsed beneath him.

Verdicts & Settlements

$400,000

for a woman struck from behind by a car as she walked to a supermarket in a shopping center parking lot in Yonkers.

Verdicts & Settlements

$200,000

for a young man, 15 years of age, who sustained a partial tear of the rotator cuff of his right shoulder, which has now healed without any limitation upon his activities.

Verdicts & Settlements

$325,000

for a school principal in the Bronx who tripped and fell over a construction plate in the school parking lot.

Verdicts & Settlements

$300,000

for a young Cement and Concrete worker who was struck by falling debris dislodged from a building by a swinging crane.

Verdicts & Settlements

$250,000

for a Cement and Concrete worker injured as a result of a fall at a Manhattan construction site.

Verdicts & Settlements

$300,000

for a school teacher in the Bronx who sustained an injury to her shoulder when she tripped and fell due to negligently placed computer wiring.

Verdicts & Settlements

$275,000

to a Construction laborer doing bridge work whose arm was fractured when falling construction material caused him to fall into the East River and onto debris.

Verdicts & Settlements

$450,000

for a child injured when a table fell on him in a laundromat in Queens.

Verdicts & Settlements

$450,000

verdict for a Volunteer Firefighter in Westchester who sustained injuries in the course of fighting a fire.

Verdicts & Settlements

3 year | 10 best law firm
The National Trial Lawyers
Super Lawyers | 2019
Newyork Leading Personal Injury Attorney 2018 | Leaders In The Law
Howard R. Sanders Esq. BBB Business Review
FindLaw Network