Man Killed in an Explosion at a Construction Site
WRSH Partner Kenneth Halperin obtained a $1,300,000 settlement for the Estate of a 59 year old man who was killed in an explosion at a construction site.
The accident in question occurred during the conversion of a commercial building in Manhattan into a high rise residential building. The deceased, plaintiff, was an electrician who was in the process of working on an electrical panel when something of an unknown origin caused the panel to explode. As a result of the explosion the deceased suffered serious burns over approximately 75% of his body and died the next day.
We were prepared to prove that the accident occurred because of the defendant, General Contractor's failure to comply with several safety provisions of the New York State Labor Law. These violations included the Contractor's decision to have the deceased work on a "live" electrical panel as opposed to shutting down the building's power, which would have required a brief delay in the performance of the work as well as a nominal cost. It would have, however, prevented the accident. It is these shortcuts that unfortunately are frequently the cause of many of the accidents involving construction workers who we represent.
As we always do, during the prosecution of the case we took a very active role in discovery and retained multiple experts to establish both liability and damages. We retained an Electrical Engineer, a Construction Health and Safety Expert, a Forensic expert and an Economist.
The case settled during the second day of mediation where we presented our case to a retired Judge, the defendant's attorneys and their Insurance Company.