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Construction accidents in New York City continue to rise

New York City has had at least 11 construction deaths in 2016. The most recent of these construction accidents took place on Dec. 9 when a construction worker fell from scaffolding at a residential development site in Brooklyn. The 59-year-old man was part of a crew that was installing a façade on the old Domino Sugar refinery located on the waterfront in Williamsburg.

The man fell several floors and suffered head injuries, according to police. He was declared dead at the Woodhull Medical Center. Investigators descended upon the development, calling off all work as they searched for the cause of the incident. The developer of the project is the Two Trees Management Co. There were no immediate eyewitness accounts or official statements or reports to give a clue as to how and why the man fell on the scaffolding.

With the boom of real estate development in New York City, the number of construction accidents and worker injuries and fatalities has also gone up. This is supported by statistical reporting from the city's Building Department, which showed a rise in construction deaths in 2015 to 12, which was up from eight in 2014. The number of worker injuries in 2015 was 472, up substantially from the 237 seen in 2014.

An unsettling report by The New York Times in 2015 concluded that the fatalities were mostly to undocumented immigrant workers. The report also found that these persons were working in unnecessarily perilous work conditions. The injuries to workers in construction accidents this year in the city were a comparable 447 as of September. 

There was no immediate word on the specific details surrounding the man's fall from the scaffolding at the Domino building. If the negligence of other companies was involved in some way, there may be a wrongful death claim available to the decedent's estate against the parties believed responsible. The family of the decedent can obtain professional counsel and a recommendation on whether a claim exists from an attorney who is experienced in New York construction accidents.

Source: The New York Times, "Worker Dies in Fall at Old Domino Sugar Site in Brooklyn", Eli Rosenberg, Dec. 9, 2016

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