Even when everything is going right, a construction site can be a dangerous place, but when warnings are ignored and the threat of imminent risk to the safety of workers is simply brushed aside, things can quickly become catastrophic. Unfortunately, that was the case on April 6, 2015, when Carlos Moncayo, 22, of Queens was killed by a collapsing wall despite repeated warnings to his supervisors of the potential danger.
On April 6, 2015, at 9:45 a.m., an engineer inspected a wall on the construction site and noticed it was unsafe. The engineer alleges that he immediately told two supervisors, Alfonso Prestia, 54, and Wilmer Cueva, 50, that no one should be working in a trench near that wall.
An hour later an inspector saw people working in the trench and asked the supervisors to halt work there. As a result, they told the mostly Spanish-speaking crew in English to stop working. Not surprisingly, this did not work, and at 11:50 a.m., just after the two supervisors finally had started to make an effort to stop work in the trench, the wall collapsed on Mr. Moncayo.
On August 5, 2015, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced that these supervisors are being charged with homicide for their failure to protect their workers. Specifically, the two workers along with their respective companies, Sky Materials Corp, and Harco Construction, are being charged with manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment, to which they have plead not guilty.
Worker safety is a priority that cannot be ignored on a construction site. Our firm has years of experience litigating construction accident cases. Often in these cases, civil liability may also apply, which serves the important role of making the victims of construction accidents and their families whole. If you or someone you love has been involved in a construction accident, contact us immediately.