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Two men seriously injured in scaffold collapse in Brooklyn

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Construction Injuries

Working on a scaffold is one of the most dangerous kinds of construction jobs. Scaffolding is almost always a temporary structure that is prone to structural and human failure. In addition, construction materials often fall from above the scaffold, causing the scaffolding to collapse or directly inflicting injury on the workers below. A recent scaffold accident in Brooklyn dramatically demonstrates the dangers of scaffold work.

The incident

Fire officials responded to a call at 1:54 p.m. in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The caller said that two workers were on the fourth floor of a scaffold outside the building at 148 Stuyvesant Avenue when a 20-foot section of the building’s parapet collapsed and hit the two workers. The workers were pinned beneath parts of the rubble for nearly 15 minutes before they were pulled to safety.

Rescuers pulled the two men from the pile of debris and put them on boards to facilitate their removal to waiting ambulances. Both men were taken to nearby hospitals with serious but not life-threatening injuries.

Who’s at fault?

As with many construction accidents, any one of several parties could bear liability. The party who employed the injured workers is legally required to bear liability for the injuries suffered by the workers, but the amount of damages owed to each of the workers is limited by the New York Workers’ Compensation Act. Several other parties who were involved in the accident may also be liable for the workers’ injuries, medical bills, and future disability without the cap on damages provided by the Worker’s Compensation Act.

These parties may include the firm who erected the scaffolding, the engineers who designed the scaffold, the architects who prepared the work orders for the project, and anyone else who may have played a role in planning or carrying out the specific tasks that led to the collapse. A thorough investigation will be required to provide complete answers to these questions before liability can be conclusively determined.

Third party claims

Potentially liable parties who are not the employer of the two injured workers are known as “third parties.” Because they are not protected by the limitations on damages provided by the Workers’ Compensation Act, they face much larger liability for injuries, medical bills, lost income, and any future liability resulting from permanent disability. Such cases often require the services of an experienced attorney to sort out the complex liability issues.