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Wrongful death trial resumes over NYC 2008 construction accident

Construction continues to be one of the most dangerous occupations nationwide, but especially here in New York. In a city known for its skyscrapers, construction workers must keep pace with building construction and renovation demands while working in a densely populated urban area. In light of this, it is a wonder that fatal accidents are not more common than they already are.

Long-time New Yorkers will likely remember 2008 as being a particularly tragic year for the city’s construction industry. Two crane accidents at different construction sites killed a total of nine workers. Earlier this month, a wrongful death lawsuit filed in response to one of those accidents finally went to trial.

In May of 2008, the top portion of a 200-foot-tall crane collapsed at a construction site on the Upper East Side. The crane operator was killed, as was a sewer worker who had been on the ground below the crane at the time.

The families of the two victims claim that the crane owner is responsible for their deaths. Prior to the accident, he paid a mechanic to perform a “slapdash repair” on a vital crane part in an effort to save money. The crane owner also faced criminal charges for manslaughter but was acquitted in 2012.

The wrongful death trial was delayed by several months when the defendant suffered car accident injuries in May. Now that the trial is back underway, a lawyer representing the victims’ families confidently told jurors that “you’re going to know exactly who’s responsible” for the deaths of the two workers.

This accident and a similar one that occurred two months prior to it significantly raised public awareness of the dangers of construction cranes. Both accidents also prompted a number of new regulations to improve crane safety at sites in the city.

If you lost a loved one in an accident caused by the negligence of another person, it may be both necessary and appropriate to pursue compensation. Please share your story with an experienced personal injury attorney.

Source: CBS New York, “Wrongful Death Trial Begins Anew In Upper East Side Crane Fall,” Oct. 2, 2014

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