Within just the last several months there have been a spate of crane accidents in New York City, some of which have resulted is serious injury and even death. The latest crane collapse occurred in Brooklyn , at a construction site. Four workers were injured. Not long before that a large crane “tilted,” hitting a 25 storey building.
Before these incidents, the City of New York has seen crane accidents over a period of years. With injuries come lawsuits, and cases have been going to trial. Just this month (April, 2010), in a case that involved the death of two construction workers in May, 2008, in a crane collapse, a judge took the rare step of fining the City of New York, one of the defendants in the case, for failing to provide documents to the Plaintiffs as ordered by the court . There was also a criminal case pending against the owner of the crane company for taking inappropriate steps to repair a part of this crane that had previously cracked. It was this part that caused the crane to subsequently collapse.
In the collapse of the crane into the 25 story building, New York City suspended the operator’s license.
It was determined that because the operator left the crane in other than the safest position possible, the collapse occurred.
In a criminal case that may well be symptomatic for so many of the problems the City faces at construction sites, the City’s former chief crane inspector pleaded guilty to “receiving bribes”. His career with the City spanned 26 years. He admitted he took bribes over the last several years to basically provide abbreviated and inadequate inspections of cranes, as well as crane operator qualifications.
It was after the second of two crane collapses in 2008, that resulted in a total of nine deaths, that the City began to seriously crack down on inspections. The City then also began a program of “beefing up” its crane inspection system.
Crane collapses are almost invariably serious events involving drastic injuries. Those seeking to bring a lawsuit based upon crane accidents would do well to investigate carefully the reputation and experience of any personal injury lawyer that they consider retaining to represent their interests.