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When building is booming, does safety lapse?

It seems that anywhere you go around New York City, there are construction projects springing up like mushrooms after a spring rain. While that is good news for the economy, what effect does it have on the safety of the construction workers doing all of the labor?

The past few years has seen an uptick in the number of construction injuries and fatalities. Most of the injured or dead workers were undocumented immigrants.

Federal investigations into the workers’ deaths deemed some accidents to have been “completely avoidable.” Typically, patterns emerge indicating the same core inadequacies lead to the dangers.

Federal findings of worker fatality causes

Lack of fall precautions and mandatory use of safety equipment led the list. Most construction sites where workers died failed to take basic steps to prevent them from falling. Even though it’s the law, laborers often worked without helmets and harnesses, and there was no enforcement.

In some cases, there was inadequate supervision of the workers. When supervisors were on site, their focus was on production and haste. When workers cut safety corners to meet deadlines, supervisors looked the other way.

The projects with the highest fatality rates generally were small projects with a heavy reliance on inadequately trained, nonunion laborers. Contractors on these jobs had often racked up penalties for prior safety violations on other jobs. Sometimes they didn’t bother paying.

In 2015, the commissioner of the agency tasked with investigating construction fatalities said, “There is absolutely no doubt that there is a real problem with construction safety.”

The precarious legal status of the unauthorized immigrant workers can make the industry rife with exploitation, as this worker demographic is not likely to call attention to themselves by complaining about working conditions on the job.

If you are a laborer on a construction site in New York City who was injured due to negligence or lack of safety protocols, you may wish to explore your legal options for compensation.

Source: The New York Times, “Safety Lapses and Deaths Amid a Building Boom in New York,” David W. Chen, accessed Aug. 11, 2017

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

$750,000

for a man severely burned in his apartment by excessively hot shower water (Sept. 2020).

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

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