Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C.

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Tons of concrete crush construction worker in New York City

As if reaching for help, an arm was visible from beneath a concrete slab weighing thousands of pounds. There was no one who could help the worker pinned under the massive, toppled section of a building adjacent to a Midtown Manhattan construction site where he had worked.

The 27-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene of the construction accident by New York City officials.

Workers had been trying to secure the foundation of the building when a section came loose and toppled onto the man. Just an arm remained visible after the concrete crashed to the ground.

The commissioner of the New York City Buildings Department said digging done at the West 37th Street site had "compromised the foundation of the neighboring building."

The New York Times reported that the project involved excavation of a parking lot before construction of a 22-story hotel could begin.     

The site was shut down after the accident. It had also been shut down for safety code violations last month.

The newspaper noted that the construction company has been cited more than 200 times for past violations. The firm has repeatedly come under fire from construction unions for building methods deemed "risky and freewheeling."

Unfortunately, those terms can be applied to many construction companies more concerned with the bottom line than the safety of construction workers. The result is that we see preventable accidents causing serious injuries and sometimes fatalities such as this one a few days ago.

Regular readers know that in many such cases, families who lose loved ones have to push hard with the help of an experienced attorney to pursue fair and full compensation for their economic losses and emotional pain.   

Source: New York Times, "Concrete Slab Crushes Construction Worker in Midtown Manhattan," Mark Santora, Sept. 23, 2014

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