Earlier today, at approximately 10:38 a.m., a building on West 38th Street collapsed, killing one and seriously injuring another. A man who was working on the next door building at the time of the accident stated that the ceiling caved in on the top two floors and that “the guy in charge was screaming for everyone to get out” as it was happening. According to the New York Post, a source close to the investigation stated that there was construction debris overloading the ceiling of the building. At the time, there 19 workers in the building.
After the collapse, 65 firefighters and 12 fire trucks showed up to help those were trapped in the building. The seriously injured victim spent three hours trapped waist deep in the rubble as the firefighters worked to remove him before he was taken to the hospital in serious condition.
Construction workers are regularly exposed to extraordinary dangers, such as this accident, in the course of their work. As a result, New York’s Labor Law Section 240(1), imposes strict liability against property owners, and general contractors at construction sites in cases where the accident is proven to be gravity-related. Additionally, Labor Law Section 241(6) imposes a non-delegable duty on property owners and general contractors at their construction sites to ensure that all applicable provisions of the New York State Code are complied with. Lastly, Labor Law Section 200 codifies the common law duty to provide construction workers with a safe place to work.