The Manhattan DA’s Office recently filed criminal charges against two construction companies for the death of a 22 year old worker last April. The companies allegedly ignored warnings issued by inspectors to the site that dangerous conditions existed and disregarded federal safety regulations. The excavation of the site went as deep as fourteen feet without the fortification required by both city and federal law for excavations deeper than five feet.
On the morning of the tragedy, another warning was issued regarding the unsafe conditions surrounding the excavation. After the inspector spent two hours persuading the supervisor to tell the workers to leave an unsupported thirteen foot trench, the supervisor finally called on the workers to leave. However, the victim did not understand English and was ultimately crushed by thousands of pounds of dirt that caved in on him. Ironically, the deceased worker had paid $500 for an OSHA training course in scaffolding safety, despite the company’s financial ability to provide it for him.
The general contractor, its senior superintendent, the subcontractor, and its foreman have been indicted for manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment.
Construction accidents have been on the rise in New York City over the last few years. Since January 2015, ten deaths have occurred due to construction related accidents. Last year, twelve construction related deaths took place, compared with two in 2013. The Manhattan DA announced the formation of a task force that will look into safety issues surrounding construction sites.
If you have been involved in a construction site accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and remedies. Call Arze & Mollica, LLP at (718) 996-5600 for a consultation today.