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Safety rule violations can lead to injuries

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Many injuries occur in workplace situations. The tragedy of those injuries is compounded by the fact that many of them were avoidable. This fact is exemplified by a recent case in which a worker was injured during the renovation of an Upper East Side mansion.

According to a new lawsuit, that injury happened because safety rules were violated. The worker, a Mexican immigrant who was a seasoned ironworker, fell off a ladder while renovating the upscale home. The lawsuit says that the man was using a heavy power tool that required both hands to operate. While using it above a solid concrete surface, the ladder he was on toppled and he fell.

The man’s lawyer says that the ladder was not secure or safe, and that there were no other workers in the immediate vicinity available to secure it. It was also not fastened to the wall, the ground or anything else. The lawsuit contends that these measures should have been taken and that the failure to do so contributed to an unsafe workplace.

When the man fell, the ladder collapsed. His torso slammed into it, the ladder flipped to one side, and he died of massive internal injuries. His widow filed the wrongful death lawsuit. She is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.

The defendants, including the general contractor and the LLC that owns the mansion, did not make any immediate comment on the case. However, other general contractors and property owners can learn from this accident. Hopefully, they will take extra care in the future to make sure that all safety rules are followed. After all, taking the time to make sure that a workplace is secured can prevent accidents like the one that happened in this case.

Source: New York Daily News, “Safety rule violations led to death of ironworker renovating art magnate Larry Gagosian’s home, new lawsuit alleges,” Barbara Ross, Feb. 16, 2016

Jason Fuiman

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Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry.