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Arye, Lustig & Sassower Blog

Worker dies and NYC construction company owner is charged

A wall collapse that killed an 18-year-old construction worker in Brooklyn in 2015 has led to multiple criminal charges against the owner of the construction company he worked for. The New York Times reported on May 10, 2017, that Michael Weiss has been charged with criminally negligent homicide, reckless endangerment, assault and numerous other offenses related to his construction businesses.

Should negligent builders be held criminally responsible when their workers get hurt because of preventable safety problems? Brooklyn prosecutors seem to think so – at least in this case.

Fatal construction falls: Unsafe conditions? Exploited workers?

Anyone who has spent time working construction in New York will tell you that accidents happen, even when workers do their best to stay safe. Falls can occur on both union and nonunion job sites, but nonunion workers usually have less protection and training than their union counterparts. Unfortunately, when developers try to reduce expenses by hiring nonunion labor, they may also try to reduce expenses by cutting corners on safety.

Falls from heights have caused catastrophic injuries to many construction workers. A recent fatal accident in Times Square shows the potential for an increased risk of falling on nonunion sites on which proper safety precautions may not be in place.

Another tragic NYC construction death -- on a nonunion job site

Anyone who has spent time working construction in New York will tell you that accidents happen, even when workers do their best to stay safe. Falls, which are often deadly, can occur on both union and nonunion job sites, but nonunion workers often have less safety training and protection than their union counterparts.

Falls from heights have caused catastrophic injuries to many construction workers. A recent fatal accident in Times Square shows the potential for an increased risk of falling on nonunion sites on which proper safety protections may not be in place.

Should you find an attorney right after a construction accident?

Most people know that construction work can be dangerous. On construction sites throughout New York City, workers try to be careful, professional and vigilant. But injuries happen all the time.

If you or your loved one gets injured on the job, won't workers' comp cover everything? Who is responsible for accidents caused by subcontractors or defective equipment? What if the accident is fatal? What if the injury doesn't seem serious enough?

Why should I contact a lawyer after an NYC construction accident?

The construction business is a big part of New York City's economy; it provides thousands of jobs and enables the city to grow, beautify and move into the future. But construction accidents can have serious consequences for injured workers and their families. These consequences can be physical, emotional, relational and financial in nature. When is it necessary to contact an attorney about an accident?

What if the injury seems minor? What if you're sure that workers' comp will cover the injury? What if you don't want to cause trouble or you're afraid of jeopardizing your job? What are the benefits and risks of talking to a lawyer about your injury case?

NYC construction hazards: When falling objects cause serious injury

Construction work is dangerous, but sometimes unnecessarily so. Falling objects can present a serious hazard that may be largely preventable.

In November 2016, two workers were killed in Queens by a 6,500-pound beam that came loose from a crane, according to nbcnewyork.com. The crane operator and flag man were crushed, and windy conditions were reportedly a concern. Such tragic cases cause workers and their families to worry about safety.

D. Carl Lustig Contributes a Chapter in the 4th Edition of "Medical Malpractice in New York"

D. Carl Lustig, III, a member of Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C., has written a chapter in the latest edition of New York State Bar Association's highly regarded textbook, Medical Malpractice in New York, 4th Edition.

Manhattan's construction explosion: More work, but more possibility of injury

Manhattan is bursting with huge construction projects -- downtown, midtown and uptown -- including residential and mixed-use buildings. With one of the world's tallest residential towers at 432 Park Avenue, two enormous new skyscrapers being erected on West 57th Street, extensive development by Columbia, NYU and Cornell, and countless other projects in the works, New York developers are competing for bragging rights. And there is plenty of opportunity for workers.

But what happens to you and your family if you are injured on the job? Medical bills, lost income, suffering and stress -- these things tend to accompany a serious construction injury. What do you need to know if an accident occurs?

NYC construction accidents: Who pays the medical bills?

We all know medical care is expensive, with most experts seeing no sign of things becoming more affordable. If you or one of your family members is injured on a construction job, who will pay your medical bills? Who will cover the lost income during recovery?

Construction accidents can cause serious and catastrophic injuries. Workers and their families know that medical costs may be covered by workers' compensation, but many are not sure about how to get the bills paid in the meantime. What should you do if you are dealing with the physical, emotional and financial aftermath of an accident?

NYC construction worker deaths: Why New York's "Scaffold Law" is important

We have talked in previous posts about the alarming rise of construction-related deaths in New York City. Many of the city's recent fatal accidents have involved falls and falling machinery. There is a painful feeling among workers, workers' families and worker advocates that some of the accidents could have been prevented.

Placing safety responsibility where it belongs

New York State Labor Law Section 240, which is sometimes known as the "Scaffold Law," is designed to hold project owners and contractors accountable for injuries to workers on construction sites. Where the worker falls from a height or is struck by a falling object, the law recognizes that workers who are exposed to such elevation-related conditions are subject to the risk of serious injuries. These rules are important because they place primary responsibility for safety where it belongs -- on the owners and contractors (and their agents) who control the job site.

Some businesses choose to put profits ahead of worker safety. It is not surprising that a number of New York builders and developers would like to see the "Scaffold Law" dismantled or weakened.

*AV Preeminent is the highest rating of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.

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