On April 6, 2015, an unsecured trench wall collapsed at 9-19 Ninth Avenue in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District neighborhood, killing 22-year-old Carlos Moncayo. Harco Construction was found guilty of felony manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide and reckless endangerment. This case established the first time that a company can be held criminally responsible for the death of a worker at its site.
In July 2015, the judge ordered Harco to produce a public service announcement to promote job site safety. Harco’s defense attorney said the company would not comply with the sentence. The firm chose to let the accident go and simply pay the $10,000 fine.
The judge lamented that his options in penalizing Harco for contempt of court are limited under New York State law, which offers only two options for corporations convicted of felony charges: a conditional discharge or a fine with a maximum of $10,000. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Department of Investigation Commissioner Mark Peters stated that a “maximum of $10,000 does not meaningfully deter companies from this type of conduct.” They further stated that “for companies like Harco Construction, $10,000 is Monopoly Money.”
This case prompted Vance and Peters to urge the State legislature to raise the maximum penalty for corporate conduct leading to death or serious physical injury – especially for fatal construction-related accidents.
More Accidents Evidence the Need for Safer Construction Site Procedures
Construction site accidents have become all too common in New York. Although some accidents may not be avoidable, others can be. If the contractors and project owners take certain precautionary and preventive measures, most fatal construction accidents can be avoided, or at least the extent of the injuries can be reduced.
Protecting the Rights of Injured Construction Workers
When construction site accidents occur, it can seriously injure or kill both construction workers as well as innocent bystanders. These victims and their loved ones may have a valid personal injury claim or wrongful death claim against the responsible parties.
At Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C., we understand the consequences that construction site accidents have on the lives of victims and the lives of their loved ones. In fact, senior partner and lead trial attorney Jeff S. Korek grew up in the construction industry and has first-hand knowledge of the in here dangers in this kind of work. Such experience allows us to aggressively fight to protect your rights and get you the compensation that you deserve.
We Can Help You If Your Are Injured
When you are injured in a construction site accident, you need to hire an experienced New York construction injury attorney to protect your legal rights. The attorneys at Gersowitz Libo & Korek P.C. have more than 30 years of experience and knowledge to aggressively fight for your rights and get you the full extent of the monetary compensation that you deserve.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our New York construction injury attorneys, please call 1-800-529-9997.