On September 10, 2012, a Brooklyn building in the Fort Greene neighborhood partially collapsed, killing one construction worker and critically injuring another. Five workers were standing on the third floor of the building when the support beams beneath them buckled, causing two men to fall nearly 40 feet.
"The load was too heavy," a bricklayer working on the building at the time of the construction accident said. According to him, the building collapsed when workers set five pallets of cinder blocks on the floor. New York City buildings commissioner Robert LiMandri added, "The floor was not structurally stable."
Determining Liability in Construction Accidents
While it appears the building was not stable enough to support the cinder blocks, an investigation is currently underway to determine exactly what happened.
The investigation will also help determine liability for the families facing this tragedy. According to LiMandri, the construction company received one violation in July due to improper excavation work.
Depending on who is liable, the families of the workers may be able to bring workers' compensation and/or personal injury lawsuits for their injuries. Typically, if a worker's on-the-job injury is caused by the negligence of his or her construction company, he or she can bring a New York workers' compensation claim. If, however, the injuries were caused in part by a third party's action, the third party may also be held responsible through a third party liability lawsuit (personal injury lawsuit).
Our sympathies go out to the families affected by this Brooklyn construction accident. If you were injured or a family member was killed in a similar accident, please take the time to speak with an experienced injury attorney.
Source: The New York Times, City Room, "Worker Killed in Brooklyn Building Collapse," Nate Schweber, Andy Newman, Sept. 10, 2012.