Recently, a mechanic was sentenced for his part in a 2008 NYC crane accident the left two workers dead. Given that the mechanic is the only person to admit criminal wrongdoing in the accident, the mechanic's sentence - a year of community service - has angered family members of the workers killed in the accident.
2008 New York Crane Collapses
The sentence stems from a crane collapse that occurred in May 2008 in which authorities claimed the mechanic had arranged a substandard repair job on a vital part of a 200 foot crane - ultimately leading to the crane breaking apart a mere month after the repair at 333 E. 91st Street.
This particular crane accident drew even more attention given the fact that it occurred only two months after another NYC crane accident that killed six workers and a tourist.
So far, this particular mechanic is the only person to be held criminally responsible for either of the accidents. In fact, the other two criminal trials stemming from these crane accidents ended in acquittals.
Fortunately, however, those injured, or the families of those killed, in crane accidents may have additional recourses available besides criminal charges - namely holding the responsible parties liable in civil court.
Not only is workers' compensation available to workers injured by cranes, but additional compensation may be available for third party claims where parties can recover for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
The NYC crane accidents of 2008 did spur on crane safety reforms, but it is unfortunate that so many deaths were needed for authorities to take notice and make construction sites safer.
Source: Crains, "No jail for mechanic in deadly NYC crane collapse," AP, August 7, 2012
Our firm often handles situations in which construction workers are injured in crane accidents. If you would like to learn more about our personal injury practice, please visit our New York City Crane Accidents page.