Deadly Crane Collapse In NYC Prompts New Safety Measures

New York City officials have announced that new safety measures will be put in place in response to a crane collapse that killed one and injured three in TriBeCa.

The collapse took place on Friday morning, February 5th, as workers were trying to secure the huge piece of construction equipment in the midst of strong winter winds. They hoped to slowly lower the crane, 565 feet high, to a safe elevation; instead, however, the crane suddenly toppled over and hurtled down to Worth Street.

One man, David Wichs, 38, of the Upper West Side of Manhattan was struck and killed. Two of the three injured parties are in stable condition in local hospitals; a third suffered only minor injuries. The collapse initially created panic as many believed that a bomb had exploded.

Mayor Bill de Blasio commented that it was “something of a miracle” that more injuries did not occur during the rush hour accident. Though the specific cause of the collapse was still unknown, Mayor de Blasio said that the accident is “obviously a warning that we take very seriously.”

He announced a lower wind speed threshold for the operation of such cranes, measures that would increase protection for pedestrians, and more alerts for area residents and workers when cranes were to be moved. The mayor also ordered that the other 429 cranes potentially in operation in the city be secured due to wind; gas has also been shut off in many local buildings.

Liability for crane collapse accidents

Further investigation may reveal the root cause of this particular accident. This is, however, not the first time that a crane collapse or accident has harmed workers or hapless pedestrians in the course of the New York City building boom. Other construction accidents have occurred due to inadequate training, supervision, coordination, or communication, or due to problems with equipment.

Workers who are injured in such accidents, or family members of those who have lost their lives, are not able to sue their employers directly even in cases where obvious fault can be determined because employees receive worker’s compensation in such cases regardless of who is at fault. However, such workers or families of workers, are able to bring suit against outside contractors, companies that train employees or supervisors, equipment manufacturers, or other parties who may have some share for the blame where the accident is concerned. (Pedestrians injured or killed in crane accidents such as the one above face no such restrictions, however.)

New York City crane accident liability

Workers compensation is rarely adequate to meet the needs of employees who have suffered serious injury, or the needs of a family that a worker leaves behind. In such cases, victims of New York City crane collapses and other construction injuries would due well to consider filing a personal injury claim. Such a lawsuit can help victims of construction accidents recover damages relates to medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning potential, and other losses.

The Sanders Firm protects the rights of workers who have been seriously injured on the job. If you were harmed or lost a loved one, please contact our New York construction accident lawyers at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY to set up a no-cost consultation. Resources