Liability of Company Owners in Construction Worker Deaths
Death of a young worker prompts a call to action
When construction site owners ignore the complaints and concerns of their employees, the consequences can be fatal. This was the case with the tragic death of an 18-year-old laborer and his two injured coworkers in 2015. The owner of two Brooklyn construction companies was eventually charged with manslaughter, the charges citing the complete ignorance about a retaining wall that seemed unstable. It was this wall that collapsed eventually and killed the young laborer.
Construction worker deaths have been a large problem in New York, with 11 reported out of 433 accidents in 2015. This number was already on the rise from the previous year of 2014, and is projected to increase in the reports for 2016. Many construction worker deaths could be prevented by safer conditions. The most common causes of construction worker death include:
- Being struck by an object
Many hazards on construction sites exist, and are often ignored, constituting premises liability. Basic work safety guidelines should be followed in order to prevent accidents (and thus, deaths) from occurring. OSHA lays out precautions for sites and their owners, such as keeping floors dry to prevent slip and fall accidents, and providing free safety equipment along with training for proper use. These are not difficult guidelines to follow, and help to ensure a worker’s safety as a responsible employer should.
In the case of the deceased teenage laborer, the construction company’s owner was held responsible for the death. He had ordered an excavation in an unauthorized area without a permit, and was not even a licensed builder to begin with. Ignoring the complaints of workers about unsafe work zones is incredibly dangerous, and can easily result in casualties such as the tragic one in this case. Thankfully, the New York City Council passed a bill requiring construction site deaths and injuries to be tracked, meaning that new and accurate data can help identify trends in mortality, and may potentially help to hold construction site owners liable for worker deaths and injuries.
No family should have an empty seat at the dinner table. If you or someone you know has suffered from an injury or death sustained at a construction site, justice needs to be served. Contact us, the law firm the Bronx knows and trusts. Don’t wait for another moment, seize the opportunity and take advantage of our free case evaluation, where we can provide counsel free of charge to seek out the best legal options for you and your individual circumstances.