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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Fatal Falls in New York Construction Accidents Highlight Serious Risks

Construction workers can be seriously injured in accidents on job sites, particularly when safety measures are not in place. Two recent fatal fall injuries on New York construction sites highlight the serious risk of fall-related injuries which are largely preventable. It is important for anyone who loses a loved one in a fatal fall accident on a construction site to know that it may be possible to file a lawsuit under New York Labor Law against the construction site owner, construction company, or general contractor if the deadly fall resulted from negligence.

Recent Deadly Fall Accidents on New York Construction Sites

Falls are among the deadliest accident types on construction sites. Indeed, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cites falls as one of the “fatal four,” or leading causes of death in the construction industry. According to a recent report from NBC New York, in the span of just a few days, two construction workers were killed in fall accidents at two separate New York construction sites. News about these deadly accidents should highlight the need for improved safety measures at dangerous job sites, and the need for injured workers or their surviving family members to hold negligent employers accountable.

According to the report, the first deadly fall occurred in the middle of a May 2021 week when two construction workers, doing work in an elevator on a construction site, “fell several floors at a building being renovated in the Bronx.” One of the workers was killed and the other suffered nonfatal injuries in the fall. The second accident occurred on a weekend morning a few days after the first deadly accident when a 32-year-old construction worker fell from scaffolding. The report indicated that “he was trying to remove a ladder on the sixth floor of a building on Court Square.”

The New York City Department of Buildings is investigating the deaths. According to Andrew Rudansky, the press secretary at the Department, “[s]afety must be the top priority on every construction site across our city.” Speaking of the second fatal fall within a four-day time window, he emphasized that the Department is “committed to conducting a thorough investigation to find out how this tragic fall occurred, and if we find that safety rules were ignored, we will hold those responsible to account.”

Filing a Lawsuit Under New York Labor Law

While most other states do not allow injured construction workers to sue their employers for negligence that results in a serious worksite injury, New York Labor Law specifically allows injured construction workers (or their families in the case of fatal injuries) to file a claim on the basis of negligence.

When it comes to deadly falls on construction sites, two sections of New York Labor Law may be applicable. Section 200 creates a “general duty to protect [the] health and safety of employees,” and permits an injured construction worker to file a claim against a negligent employer when machinery, equipment, or devices are not operated or maintained in a way designed to provide “reasonable and adequate protection” to workers. Section 240 is known as the “Scaffolding Law” and allows injured workers to file a lawsuit for injuries resulting from a fall.

Contact Our New York Construction Accident Attorneys

Do you have questions about filing a construction injury lawsuit? Our New York construction accident lawyers can assist you today. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC to get started on your case.


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