Construction Trench Collapse in New York Results in Manslaughter Charges

A construction trench collapse in New York that claimed the life of a 22-year old worker early this spring has resulted in manslaughter charges for two of the contracting companies that were in charge of the jobsite.

Carlos Moncayo became the 18th construction worker to die this year when the 14-foot-deep trench he was working in collapsed. Mr. Moncayo was trapped beneath tons of rubble and workers were unable to dig him out in time to save his life. An OSHA investigation into the Manhattan trench collapse concluded that two of the companies in charge-lead contractor, Harco Construction LLC and subcontractor Sky Materials Corp.-failed to protect Mr. Moncayo by allowing work to continue in the absence of protective measures.

OSHA regulations state that protective barriers and proper bracing must be in place in any trench or hole five-feet-deep or deeper. In addition, the trench must be properly sloped to minimize the risk of a cave in and steps and ladders must be used for ease of ingress and egress. In addition to failing in this regard, the contractors also failed to properly brace up a section of sidewalk that ran parallel to the trench and which ultimately caved-in on top of Mr. Moncayo.

Kay Gee, OSHA's area director in Manhattan, said it was clear that had proper safety regulations been followed Mr. Moncayo would still be alive today.

However, because of the heinous nature of this carelessness, the two companies were also indicted for multiple criminal charges including manslaughter. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said that the companies and direct supervisors "failed to heed and address repeated warnings about unsafe work conditions at an active construction site."

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction trench collapse in New York, or you have lost a loved one at a jobsite anywhere in the City of New York, contact an expert New York City construction accident attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights.

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