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Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C.

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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.

Negligence and greed can cause injuries

If convicted of the most serious charges, Weiss could face a 15-year prison sentence. According to the criminal indictment, his actions – or inaction in the face of repeated requests for help and complaints about safety -- led to the death of one worker and serious injuries to two others. Some people see this case as a step in a just direction for workers whose rights are sometimes overlooked because of the greed of developers and builders.

No one suggests that every construction accident in which a worker is seriously injured or killed should result in criminal liability. But every serious injury or death has important consequences for the injured worker and his or her family. Certain New York laws – the “Scaffold Law” in particular – were put in place to protect workers from some of the dangers of working at heights. Experienced lawyers who regularly handle construction accident cases understand how these laws may apply to your injury case.

When workers and their families need legal guidance

After a worker is hurt or killed in an accident, his or family can experience trauma, emotional challenges and financial hardship. In such cases, the help of a knowledgeable construction accident attorney can be invaluable in protecting the family’s rights, including the right to money damages to which they are entitled.

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Since 1965, we’ve recovered over $1 BILLION on behalf of our clients. read more
  • $2.1 million settlement

    for 33-year old electrician who fell from ladder while attempting to fit heavy cable into crown box when cable sprung back and struck him, causing him to suffer left shoulder injury with impingement.

  • $1.6 million settlement

    for 38-year old electrician who slipped and fell on debris on stairway with resulting cervical herniated disc and aggravation of pre-existing arthritic changes.

  • $2.55 million settlement

    for 42-year old electrician who fell into an uncovered, unprotected hole and suffered a severe low back injury with herniated disc(s) that required surgery at L4-5 and L5-S1 levels.

  • $1.75 million settlement

    for 26-year old construction worker who fell through opening in roof and fractured his wrist, requiring surgery with open reduction and internal fixation, external fixation device, and eventual fusion.

  • $2.5 million settlement

    for 38-year old female electrician (with history of prior neck injury) who tripped on uneven Masonite protective floor covering, and suffered neck injury with herniated discs requiring cervical fusion.

  • $1.2 million settlement

    during trial for 40-year old sheet metal worker who was struck in the neck and shoulder by an air conditioning unit and suffered herniated cervical discs and cervical radiculopathy.

*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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