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NYC Crane Accident Injures 10

cranes on construction siteA recent crane accident in Midtown Manhattan has raised speculation about whether a lawsuit might be filed by victims. The accident, which occurred on June 1, injured workers and pedestrians passing by on the street below. An industrial air conditioning unit plummeted nearly 30 stories after a crane cable snapped and an unstable floor buckled against the weight of the massive machine.

Eight pedestrians and two construction workers were injured in the accident, according to NBC New York. All injuries were caused by falling debris and some victims were treated at area hospitals and released. Significant damage to the building where the unit was being installed was also reported.

The crane was lifting the unit, which reportedly weighed several tones, to the mechanical room at the top of an office tower on Madison Avenue. The building was not occupied when the accident occurred, in accordance with New York City ordinances involving roof work. When the crane dropped the load, the unit scraped the side of the building and loosened concrete and glass to the street below.

Crane operator identified

The crane operator was identified in the New York Post as Christopher Cosban, 48. According to the Post’s report, Cosban’s license was suspended in 2010 by Skylift Contractor Corp., after the crane operator improperly secured a crane, leading to its crashing into in a building in Lower Manhattan. Although Cosban’s actions were not determined to be the cause of that crash, sources say they were a factor. Cosban was also working for Skylift when this crash occurred.

The Buildings Department Commissioner, Rick Chandler, told NBC New York that work of this nature is typically performed on weekends. This particular accident took place on a Sunday morning, when the streets were much less crowded and damage and injuries were likely minimized. Chandler also stated all permits required for the crane were “in place” at the time of the accident. The New York City Department of Buildings is conducting an investigation.

Crane safety major concern

Crane safety has been a concern in major cities like New York City, Miami and Las Vegas for a number of years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that there 72 fatalities involving crane accidents in 2006, the most recent year when data is available. Most of those fatalities involved contact with falling debris, followed by falls. A number of victims were also caught in or compressed by objects or machinery.

New York City appears to see its share of these accidents. In April, a worker was killed in Midtown when he was crushed between a flatbed and a boom-crane. A stopwork order was issued for that accident and an investigation was launched, according to Industrial Safety and Hygiene News. That report also suggested there had been speculation about whether some construction companies were trying to cut corners to save money.

Pursuing a NYC crane accident lawsuit

At The Sanders Firm, our New York construction accident attorneys are committed to helping victims secure justice and fair compensation. Although individuals are not allowed to sue their direct employers in these work-related accidents, they can take action against third-parties like property owners and general contractors. An experienced attorney can help you file a crane accident lawsuit against the responsible parties in order to pursue compensation for injuries, medical bills and other non-economic losses.

Crane accidents can incur serious, lifelong injuries within just moments. If you have been the victim of a crane accident in New York City, we can help. Contact The Sanders Firm for a free case evaluation and answers to your legal questions at 1.800.FAIR.PLAY.


  1. NBC New York, Air Conditioning Unit Plunges Nearly 30 Stories in Midtown Crane Accident; 10 Hurt, http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/Crane-Collapses-in-Midtown-Manhattan-305606991.html

  2. New York Post, Floor Buckled Under Weight of Air Conditioner in Crane Accident, http://nypost.com/2015/06/02/floor-buckled-under-weight-of-air-conditioner-in-crane-accident/

  3. New York Times, Crane Accident in Midtown Manhattan Injures 7 and Damages Buildings, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/01/nyregion/crane-collapses-in-midtown-manhattan.html?_r=0

  4. Industrial Safety and Hygiene News, Crane Accident Kills Worker in NYC, http://www.ishn.com/articles/101253-crane-accident-kills-worker-in-nyc

  5. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Crane-Related Occupational Fatalities, http://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/osh/os/osh_crane_2006.pdf