Wrongful Death in a Demolition Accident
Our client was the wife of a construction worker who died in a fall when the Bobcat he was operating plunged off the third floor of a building during demolition. This case involved violations of Labor Law Section 240, which ultimately resulted in his death:
- Failure to provide a fall arrest system
- Failure to install safety barriers
The construction worker was instructed by his employer to raise the bucket of the Bobcat Skid-Steer Loader, and then to ram the bucket into a structural steel beam near the edge of the building being demolished. The structural steel beam and the Bobcat both fell over the side of the building, landing 26 feet below.
An OSHA investigation found that the Bobcat itself did not have a seatbelt locking mechanism and, as a result, the worker was partially ejected from the cab of the Bobcat and was crushed under it in the fall.
The New York City Building Department requires that the front tracks of a Bobcat be kept a minimum of three feet from the edge of a building, but no such safety precaution was taken. Safety barriers, such as stop logs or curbs, which could have acted as a warning device and prevented the Bobcat from getting too close to the edge of the building, were not provided.
The Bobcat was not the proper piece of equipment to use for the job. Its use was a direct violation of the permit authorized by the New York City Building Department, which required the use of a high reach excavator from grade. Furthermore, the Industrial Code requires that “large structural members shall not be thrown or dropped from the building or other structure, but shall be carefully lowered.”
Although the construction worker was working on the third story of the building and was exposed to an elevation-related risk, he was not provided with a personal fall arrest system or any other safety equipment that would have offered him the protection mandated by Labor Law Section 240(1).
As a result of these many violations of Labor Law Section 240, the general contractor and owner were found to be at fault for the worker’s death.
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Attorney Jacob Oresky has been fighting to protect injured workers for more than 20 years. He and his team are committed to getting you the compensation you need after a serious injury. (718) 993-9999 or e-mail our law office to schedule a FREE consultation at our Bronx, Queens or New York City law office.
The law office of Oresky & Associates, pllc., represents injured workers in New York State, including New York City, the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn (Kings County), Staten Island (Richmond County), Westchester, Long Island, Suffolk County and Nassau County.