FEBRUARY 5, 2016 – AT LEAST 1 PERSON WAS KILLED AND 15 PEOPLE INJURED AFTER A MOBILE CRANE COLLAPSED ONTO A BUSY STREET IN TRIBECA EARLY THIS MORNING. THE CRANE FELL ONTO WORTH ST., SPANNING NEARLY TWO BLOCKS, AND CRUSHING A LINE OF CARS PARKED ALONG THE ROAD.
Thursday night, city officials had issued a winter weather advisory going into effect between 1:00am and 12:00pm today, with 3-6 inches of snow predicted and wind gusts up to 30 mph. Despite this warning, the crane remained operational early Friday morning, lifting heavy ventilation equipment over the busy street below. The massive machine, with “Bay Crane” emblazoned on the side in red letters, began to pitch as the wind picked up, eventually tipping over.
Crane collapses are nothing new in New York City. In an effort to save money or speed up work, owners often fail to properly maintain the equipment and operators ignore safety issues when using them. As recently as November 2015, the hydraulics on a mini crane in midtown Manhattan malfunctioned, killing a construction worker. In 2008, a crane collapsed on the Upper East Side after the owner, killing two. On August 3, 2015, a jury awarded the victims’ families over $48 million after finding that the owner had used an unqualified company to repair the crane to save money.
Bay Crane, the owner of the mobile crane which collapsed today, has been cited in the past by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (“OSHA”) for a collapse in 2010 for a violation related to “ending of crane operation overnight crane storage with boom elevated and extended.”
When owners and operators ignore safety concerns in an effort to save money, construction workers and bystanders pay with catastrophic injury and death.
Other verdicts and settlements obtained in crane-related accidents include: $22.6 million for a steelworker victim in a collapse; $13 million for a worker paralyzed by a falling beam; and $7.2 million for back injuries resulting from boom collapsing on victim.
Levy Konigsberg attorneys aggressively advocate for those injured in all types of construction accidents, including crane collapses, holding those accountable and helping victims receive the maximum compensation they deserve.