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Construction company in New York refuses to pay damages

In New York, a widow recently expressed her disappointment with a construction company that promised to pay her funeral expenses after her husband’s tragic death but later refused the money.

Her husband was a 67-year-old construction worker who was working on a Fort Greene building in Brooklyn at the time of the construction accident. The top floor of the building he was working on collapsed, causing him to fall to his death. Investigators believe the beams, which supported the top floor, were improperly installed. City officials are still investigating the accident, and no lawsuit has been filed against the employer.

After the accident, the construction company spoke with the widow and offered to pay her husband’s funeral expenses. When it discovered that the widow had hired an attorney to handle the financial matters of the oral agreement, however, the company rescinded its offer.

Job safety plays a vital role in any job, especially construction jobs. Construction companies are required to implement safety regulations to prevent accidents and injuries from happening. Failure to comply with safety rules may result in severe injuries and even death.

Perhaps the construction company offered to pay the victim’s funeral expenses out of compassion for the victim and then realized that workers’ compensation would cover those costs. Or perhaps it simply decided not to pay. Whatever the case, this widow is left mourning her husband while worrying about how she will pay for the funeral, medical bills and other expenses.

Thankfully, just because the company reneged on the offer does not mean that she will not be able to recover compensation. She may be able to bring a workers’ compensation or wrongful death/personal injury claim against the construction company to recover damages, including economic damages (such as funeral expenses and loss of income) and noneconomic damages (such as pain and suffering and loss of consortium).

Source: NY Daily News, “Widow says construction company broke promise to fund husband’s funeral,” John Marzulli, Sept. 21, 2012

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