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More scaffold injuries: 3 construction workers fall in Brooklyn

A disturbing pattern of scaffold-related construction injuries continues in New York City. While developers and contractors enrich themselves, many laborers risk their lives in unsafe conditions.

On January 3, three workers plunged one story from a code-violating sidewalk shed as they were installing a scaffold on Driggs Avenue in Brooklyn, according to an ABC-7 news report. ABC reported that the workers fell when a parapet wall failed at the Williamsburg site. 

Why do dangerous conditions persist?

The ABC story indicated that the accident prompted a Stop Work Order from the Department of Buildings (DOB), stating that there were two violations. One was related to the construction of the shed, and one was issued for failing to safeguard.

It's hard to understand why some builders don't follow basic safety rules. Whether they're cutting corners to save time or money or they're simply ignorant, these parties need to be held accountable when their actions hurt people. 

What protections do injured workers have?

Workers are vulnerable to serious injuries and death when project owners and contractors act without regard for their safety, but the law provides civil (and sometimes even criminal) consequences for such negligence. The good news is that injured workers and their families can bring third-party claims -- lawsuits that can result in significant money damages -- against negligent parties.

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    $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.

  • icon2

    $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.

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    $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.

  • icon4

    $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.

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    $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.

  • icon6

    $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.

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