Construction accidents are not rare in NYC – in fact, the situation appears to be getting worse. A recent case illustrates the risks faced by construction workers throughout the city. The recent death occurred on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where a mixed-use development was being built at 60 Norfolk Street. Two workers were standing on an old windowsill as a machine was working below, about six to eight feet above ground. Suddenly, the entire wall collapsed, carrying two workers with it, partially burying them in the rubble.

Passers-by thought they were witnessing a controlled demolition until they heard screams for help. They observed the back loader moving forward and back at the site and assumed the wall collapse was intentional. Sadly, one of the workers did not survive the accident and was pronounced dead after being transported to the hospital, while the other man was listed as being in critical condition.

Construction in New York: We Have A Problem.

The construction industry is booming in NYC, and there appears to be no end in sight. There are staggering numbers of construction accidents with injuries and deaths on the rise. The construction industry has more work-related deaths than any other industry, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Worksite deaths are up 33%, with work injuries increasing 221% over the same period, as reported by CBS2.

Construction Accident Deaths in New York: Wrongful Death?

A wrongful death claim can be filed when a construction worker dies as a result of gross negligence. Workers’ compensation offers a death benefit, but this compensation rarely covers the real-world cost of living in any NYC borough. In many cases, the liable party is not the employer, but a subcontractor, utility, or other parties. When this is the case, a lawsuit can be brought to pursue more compensation. The workers’ compensation system does not allow for damages for pain and suffering, but a lawsuit filed against a third party makes this possible.

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim in NYC?

Under New York law, the personal representative of the estate has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. The damages awarded in these cases go to close family members, such as the spouse, children, or parents, if the person who died was unmarried and had no children. If you lost a loved one in a construction accident in New York, call Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro, Moses & Halperin, LLP at (212) 986-7353 for a free case evaluation. We are proud to be considered one of the leading personal injury law firms practicing in NYC.