• Leitner Varughese

Excavator Deaths and Construction Accident Lawsuits

Construction accidents can happen on any type of construction site, during any time of the year, and regardless of the history of safety at a particular location or with a certain employer. Some types of injuries occur much more frequently on construction sites than others, with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) routinely citing falls as the most common cause of fatal injuries in the construction industry. Yet accidents and serious injuries can certainly occur in other ways on construction sites, too, as a recent and devastating death highlights. We want to discuss this fatal excavator accident that occurred, and to say more about filing a construction accident lawsuit after an excavator accident in New York.

Recent Excavator Accident in New York

According to NBC 4 New York, a construction worker was killed earlier this month “when the excavator he was operating fell into a waterway, leaving him trapped inside the equipment.” The news report indicates that the construction worker had been with a construction crew on a waterway site between New Jersey and Staten Island.

The accident occurred just after 8 a.m., and the report suggests that the construction worker was trapped in the excavator for an hour before emergency responders were able to free him from the machine. They were not able to save him. Others at the scene said the excavator was positioned too close to the river, and it fell into approximately six feet of water that was likely about 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The construction worker was rushed to Trinitas Hospital, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. OSHA is investigating the accident.

File a Lawsuit Under New York Labor Law 200

Under New York law, a personal representative of a deceased construction worker may be able to file a lawsuit against a negligent construction site employer under New York Labor Law 200. This law assigns employers a general duty to protect the health and safety of all construction workers at a construction site, regardless of the construction worker’s specific duty. Accordingly, when an excavation accident occurs due to an employer’s negligence, this law may provide a remedy by suing the employer.

File a Lawsuit Under New York Labor Law 241

Additional sections of New York Labor Law hold negligent construction employers accountable for specific types of accidents. Under New York Labor Law 241, construction employees can be held accountable for excavation accidents if they do not abide by the safety requirements outlined in the statute.

Seek Compensation Through Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ compensation is not only for injured workers who survived their injuries. The New York workers’ compensation system also allows survivors of a worker who suffered deadly injuries to seek death benefits. If your loved one was killed in an excavation accident or another type of construction accident in New York, you could be eligible to seek workers’ compensation death benefits, which can include funeral expenses, in addition to filing your lawsuit under New York Labor Law.

Contact a New York Construction Accident Lawyer

If you have questions about filing a claim, you should contact an experienced New York construction accident attorney. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC today for more information about filing a lawsuit.


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Melville, New York 11747
Main: (631) 240-4390


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New York, NY 10122
Main: (212) 671-1110


Fax: (631) 240-4386 



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*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.  The Firm's attorneys acted as trial counsel, attorneys of record and/or otherwise facilitated in the recoveries of the stated verdict and settlements.  Certain verdicts and settlements achieved by trial counsel and/or outside counsel.  Attorney advertising.