The recent large explosion that occurred at 121 Second Avenue, New York, New York, has reportedly left at least 25 people injured with two people still missing, and caused the collapse of at least two buildings.
Beyond the millions of dollars in property damage, the human cost of this tragedy is staggering. For the families and friends of those who are missing or who have been injured, there is a natural question to ask: Who is to blame for this happening? And just as importantly, could this have been avoided?
As reported in a recent New York Post article, the preliminary investigation reveals that a large gas line was being installed without any permits. Further reports indicate that Con Edison had inspected the site that day and found the work to be deficient. Moreover, it appears that the site had been the subject of a number of construction projects in the year prior to the happening of the accident.
At this point, its too early to tell who exactly is responsible for the explosion, but, if the information available is accurate, it is likely that there are a number of parties to blame. Beyond whatever construction company or utility installed the gas line without a permit, the fault may lie with Con Edison, if after its inspection it could have taken preventative action once it realized the work was deficient. There may also be other parties who performed earlier work on the site who played a role in the happening of the accident.
While it's important to make clear that this is all speculative as the investigation is incomplete, what is clear is that figuring out which parties are responsible for this accident will not be an easy task. Indeed, investigations are still ongoing into the cause of a similar explosion that occurred last year in East Harlem and resulted in eight deaths.
Our firm has significant experience (Failure to Seal Conduits Results in Structured Settlement of Over $20 Million) handling this type of case, and while we know that the government will also be conducting its own investigation, the importance of quickly hiring a skilled and experienced attorney to lead an investigation on behalf of those injured can not be understated.
An attorney representing the interest of an injured party can insure that the investigation is done to the highest standard and by getting involved early on can hire experts to inspect the scene as it is. Further, if the City of New York is at all responsible, a Notice of Claim must be filed within 90 days in order to preserve the rights of any injured party to sue the City or other municipal entities.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of the negligence of someone else, contact the attorneys at Louis Grandelli, P.C.