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Construction Negligence Injures Innocent Pedestrians

February 24, 2014 | Michael Barasch

Times Square was recently the scene of a construction accident when severe rains and winds of 43 mph caused a massive plywood retaining wall to fall down and injure three pedestrians. It took more than two dozen people to lift the wall from the injured victims, who were then rushed to Bellevue Hospital by firefighters. Who was responsible? 

  • Texas-based contractor Einstein Construction Group was performing construction on the interior of the building located at 561 Seventh Ave., where the accident occurred.
  • The group denied responsibility for the unsteady plywood construction wall, stating it was only responsible for interior, not exterior, construction.
  • However, the construction wall may not have been properly secured, according to a city buildings official who charged the construction company with safety violations and initiated a stop-work order. 

Because of its inherent dangers, the construction industry is heavily regulated to protect both construction workers and innocent bystanders who may sustain injuries because of worker negligence or inexperience. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, despite OSHA and other safety regulations, fatal construction accidents are on the rise, increasing from 781 in 2011 to 817 in 2012, the last year with available data. These numbers do not include serious, nonfatal construction industry injuries. 

One of the leading causes of construction-related deaths is being struck by objects, such as construction vehicles and masonry walls. While most construction accidents injure workers — who are entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits even when no one is guilty of negligence — passersby can also become the victims of dangerous construction sites, including when sites are not properly secured. These victims may be entitled to sue to recover personal injury damages caused by the construction company’s failure to follow safety regulations or other negligence. 

If you were injured as a passerby because of negligence on a construction site, or if you are a construction worker who was injured on the job, you may be able to obtain compensation. Speak with a skilled construction accident attorney today to learn about your options.

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