In New York City, many construction workers and innocent bystanders have been seriously injured by preventable accidents and mishaps involving scaffolding. Who is to blame for the injuries and deaths that continue to occur? How are negligent parties held responsible?
In many of these cases, contractors and builders are sued through third-party claims that provide money damages to victims. But sometimes other parties are held accountable for negligence. In one recent case, an engineer was taken to task.
Faulty design, violations and fines
Crain’s New York Business reported that the engineer responsible for designing an ill-fated SoHo scaffold was fined $16,000 and rebuked for negligence by the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB). Nine of his scaffolding sheds across multiple Brooklyn locations were deemed to have “deficient” designs; they were not part of the SoHo disaster, though they seem to be part of a pattern characterized by the buildings commissioner as “sheer negligence.” The engineer’s work was cited for 47 minor violations by the DOB.
Last year the scaffolding shed Daniel Odigie designed collapsed near Broadway and Prince Street, injuring several people, including a model who experienced a spinal injury, according to Crain’s. The frightening collapse, which may have been exacerbated by high winds, made headlines in New York and elsewhere.
Workers, commuters and bystanders who are hurt in construction accidents should understand and protect their rights. After an injury has occurred, it is important to obtain legal advice as soon as possible.