This morning, at approximately 9:47am, 6 construction workers were injured in Brooklyn when the roof they were working on collapsed to the basement of the Brownstone building. According to CBS New York, the workers were putting up cinder blocks on the roof when the collapse occurred. 6 workers were reported injured with 4 in serious condition.
A roof collapse like the one described above could implicate the Labor Law of the State of New York which was enacted to protect workers at heights whose bodies and materials could be subject to falling and the force of gravity. Questions must be asked as to why the roof collapsed and why it could not support the load upon it.
Commonly known as the "Scaffold Law," New York Labor Law 240(1) offers financial protection to construction workers who have suffered elevation-related injuries. The labor law places absolute liability-meaning that liability is imposed regardless of fault–on the property owner and general contractor when a worker suffers an injury due to a fall from elevation or is struck by a falling object. By placing absolute liability on general contractors and property owners, the labor law essentially provides construction workers compensation for damages for most elevation-related injuries.
While New York Labor Law 240(1) places absolute liability on general contractors and property owners, it does not guarantee an injured worker compensation for their damages. While absolute liability, in theory, automatically entitles a worker to compensation, it does not prevent property owners and construction companies from challenging the injured individual's claim. In many cases, property owners and general contractors will do whatever they can to avoid paying additional compensation to an injured worker; including denying that their injury was elevation-related. As a result, construction workers who have suffered elevation-related injuries should seek the counsel of a lawyer with experience handling lawsuits involving falls from heights at construction sites.
Have you suffered an injury while working at a construction site? If so, call 212-406-1700 or contact us online for a free consultation. Queller, Fisher, Washor, Fuchs & Kool will review your claim to see how they may be able to help you.