01/14/2013 // New York, NY, USA // New York Injury Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C. Reiter // (press release)
An enormous construction crane, being used at a building site in Long Island City, suddenly buckled and collapsed, today at approximately 2:30 p.m., falling onto the construction area below the crane, sending workers running for their lives, and injuring at least seven construction workers. The site was directly behind the famed ‘Pepsi’ sign in Long Island City, Queens. Several eyewitnesses stated that they heard a loud sound, similar to breaking metal, and then observed the top horizontal bar of the crane falling, then folding in on itself, like an accordion, while at the same time, they observed the vertical tower of the crane breaking in half as it collapsed upon the site where the workers were congregated.
According to Jonathan C. Reiter, New York construction accident attorney, who has handled many construction site accidents, the liability for this type of accident falls under the strict liability provisions of New York State Labor Law, section 240(1). Mr. Reiter stated: “Labor Law section 240(1) was passed by the New York State Legislature earlier in the last century, in recognition of the extremely high risk of injuries to workers at construction sites. The law imposes strict liability on the general contractor and the owner, and their agents, for injuries sustained by operation of the force of gravity. That means that if something falls from a height onto a worker, or if a worker falls from a height, the contractors, owners and their agents are held strictly liable by operation of law. In this case, it is clear that the crane buckled and fell from a height, crushing the victims. A tragic accident of this magnitude will certainly have many avenues of investigation of its causes.
As Mr. Reiter explained: “ Crane accidents are, unfortunately, very common at construction sites in New York. In addition to the strict liability provisions of the Labor Law, these types of accidents present issues of ownership of the crane, operation of the crane, whether proper safety inspections of the crane was conducted, whether any safety devices were properly in place, and whether the crane was manufactured within proper safety guidelines. For this reason, in a case like this, an injured party would have many avenues to investigate, in order to establish liability against additional defendants in an eventual lawsuit.” As Mr. Reiter stated: “While a case against the owners, contractors and their agents is subject to strict liability, there are most likely additional defendants against whom liability may be proven as well. Clearly, the accident investigation is crucial in a case like this”.
It is our hope that the investigation of this accident will lead to promulgating further worker safety rules and regulations in the State of New York, thereby saving lives in the future, concludes NY personal injury lawyer Jonathan Reiter.
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