People who live and work in New York City are accustomed to carrying on with their daily lives while surrounded by active construction sites. The majority of complaints about these construction sites center on the noisy and dusty conditions they create. These sites also, however, pose other very real and serious dangers to individuals who live, work and travel in their vicinity.
Last month, a 565-foot crane collapsed unexpectedly and fell into the streets of Lower Manhattan. The accident occurred as members of a construction crew attempted to lower the crane into a secure position due to concerns over high wind speeds. Video of the collapse shows the great speed at which the hulking metal crane descended into Lower Manhattan and down onto the unsuspecting pedestrians and motorists below.
Three people were injured in the collapse and one killed. One of the individuals who was injured, a 73-year-old man, recently filed a lawsuit against the city’s Department of Buildings in which he accuses the DOB of gross negligence in failing to enforce safety policies and act quickly to ensure that the crane was secured before wind gusts reached 25 MPH. The plaintiff also asserts that the DOB and the construction workers, should have closed down the streets where the crane was located to ensure that no pedestrians or motorists were in danger.
The 73-year-old man suffered severe injuries to his spine and skull when the crane fell on top of his parked car. According to the lawsuit, today, the previously active and “physically fit senior,” is being evaluated for a traumatic brain injury and has difficulty walking due to the two spinal fractures he suffered in the crane collapse.
In addition to the lawsuit against the city’s DOB, the man also plans to file suits against the cane equipment company, the general construction contractors and the company that owns the building in which the crane was being used to construct.
Source: New York Daily News, “Man whose spine, skull fractured by fallen Manhattan crane will sue NYC Buildings Department for $30M,” Barbara Ross, March 18, 2016
CNN.com, “New York City crane collapse leaves 1 dead, 3 injured,” Ray Sanchez, Feb. 5, 2016