Stephen Murphy Interviewed by WPIX on Pedestrian Accidents

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

In the aftermath of a tragic accident in which a two-year-old child was killed by bricks that fell from a building on the Upper West Side, New York’s PIX 11 spoke with Partner Stephen Murphy about the recent rise in pedestrian accidents across New York City.

Between 2009 and 2014, the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) reported 313 injuries caused by falling debris, nine of which were fatal. The types of debris can range from a piece of a building’s facade to construction tools and materials. These alarming numbers leave city residents wondering if they will be next to fall victim to a similar accident.

When asked how common pedestrian accidents are, Murphy answered, “Pedestrians are a little rare. It’s something we are reading about in the news a lot lately but it is not something you see very often.”

Murphy noted that recent increases in pedestrian accidents can be attributed to a general rise in construction activity taking place throughout the city. With such a large number of active construction sites, it is important that these sites are well regulated. This is where the state’s resources may be challenged.

“In New York, there is somewhere between 105 and 115 [OSHA] inspectors. If they inspected every single job site in New York State, it would take them more than 105 years to accomplish that,” Murphy said. The lack of inspectors present to ensure construction employers, property owners, and general contractors are adhering to safety standards greatly increases the risk for hazards that can impact workers as well as the public.

In a recent announcement, Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed the city DOB will add 320 positions and invest $120 million over the following four years with the goal of boosting service, safety, and oversight. Hopefully these changes succeed in keeping residents safe as they navigate these streets.

Any falling object, even an object as small as a nail, can be incredibly dangerous to those below. Individuals who are struck by a falling object can suffer catastrophic injuries, and even death. Those who have been hurt by an object that fell as a result of another party’s negligence may be entitled to compensation for their injuries.

The construction accident lawyers at Block O’Toole & Murphy have extensive experience obtaining justice for injury victims. Results for clients who were injured in falling object accidents include:

  • $110,174,972 jury verdict for a cyclist who was paralyzed when he was struck by a falling railroad tie in Brooklyn
  • $15,000,000 settlement in a wrongful death case for the family of an HVAC technician who was fatally crushed by a 28,450-pound chiller unit
  • $7,300,000 settlement in a Brooklyn case for a construction worker who was injured when a 10,000-pound steel beam fell and landed on top of him
  • $7,000,000 settlement for a union carpenter who was struck in the face by a metal clamp that fell while he was dismantling a scaffold

To speak with one of our expert attorneys today, call 212-736-5300 or fill out our contact form online.



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