A construction accident in New York left one worker dead after a short fall down an elevator shaft in an Upper West Side town home earlier this month. 61-year old Frank Dragotta was employed by the home’s owner and working on a major renovation at the property (located at 130 West 70th Street). Mr. Dragotta fell through an unguarded opening and down one story to the bottom of the shaft.
Emergency services responded quickly and rushed Mr. Dragotta to Mount Sinai St. Luke’s Hospital. However, doctors were unable to resuscitate him and Mr. Dragotta was pronounced dead upon arrival.
An investigation into the Manhattan elevator accident uncovered at least one safety violation on the property. The property, owned by hedge fund manager Roy Neiderhoffer, was cited by the Department of Buildings for failing to install a proper safety barrier around the elevator shaft, creating an unnecessary fall hazard. This also violates OSHA standards for worksites as well, which clearly state any such hazard must have a physical barrier so workers can’t accidently fall.
As this deadly construction accident in New York City’s posh Upper West Side demonstrates, even a short fall can be fatal. While one story is usually just 10 feet, a fall from that height can generate significant force. A 190 pound man falling ten feet would accelerate to roughly 7 meters per second and strike the hard surface below with approximately 640 foot pounds of pressure. If there were obstructions or debris below those points could magnify that force to terrifying proportions.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an elevator accident or a construction accident at a jobsite (whether that site is in a private home or a corporately owned high-rise) you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. And, as in this case, if your loved one was killed the surviving family members can take up the cause. Contact a New York City construction accident attorney immediately to discuss your rights under the law. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.