Angel Pilataxi, Father of Six, Dies in Construction Site Fall

Wednesday, February 16th, 2022

Tragedy struck in Brooklyn Heights last week as a father of six lost his life.

On February 11th, 56-year-old Angel Pilataxi was on-site at 124 Columbia Heights working on a building conversion project when just past 10:00 p.m., he fell from the eighth floor of the 10-story building. He landed on a second-floor roof and was pronounced dead at the scene. Circumstances of the fall are unclear and the investigation is still unfolding.

We want to offer our sincere condolences to the family during their time of grief. Pilataxi was born in Ecuador and was a dedicated father and partner. He had three stepchildren and three children.

Angel Pilataxi’s oldest stepson, Johnathan Chicaiza, described his stepfather as kind and protective. “He was like the protector of our family,” Chicaiza said. “Not only was he a hard worker, he was just such a great guy—he had the purest of hearts. Right now we’re left without a father. I have two younger siblings who are not fully able to process this. We’re trying to be strong for them.”

City Council Member Lincoln Restler is working with the Worker Justice Project to organize a fundraiser for Pilataxi’s family. The Worker Justice Project assists low-wage immigrant earners to improve working conditions.

The company Pilataxi worked for, F & C Professional Aluminum, would not offer comment to reporters. The property he was working at was in the process of being converted from a “community facility” to luxury apartments—and it has had a long history of alarming safety issues.

Cited complaints include inadequate guardrails, scaffolding that was not installed correctly, and even a collapsing work shed. Sixteen complaints are currently on file with the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), and twice the property has been fined $10,000 for “failure to safeguard all persons and property affected by construction operations.” Since Pilataxi’s death, a stop-work order has been put on the property. DOB also issued a stop order for the construction site because of “site conditions endangering workers” last April. Reasons for the previous stop-work order included failing to notify the DOB of an on-site accident and “tampering [with] accident evidence” – serious violations which imply that those in charge have been prioritizing profit over the well-being of their laborers.

Far too often, general contractors, subcontractors, construction site owners, and those responsible for the safety of their workers fail to adhere to safety regulations and put the workers’ lives at risk. According to 2019 data, the latest provided by OSHA, the construction industry accounted for 20 percent of workplace fatalities nationwide in the private sector. In New York, the fatality rate actually increased 9 percent in 2020, according to the latest report by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health (NYCOSH). Maddeningly, an overwhelming 97 percent of deaths occurred on construction sites with existing OSHA violations – work sites where those responsible for worker safety had time to fix safety issues before a preventable death occurred.

The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy have seen firsthand how the lives of hardworking construction workers and their loved ones have been upended because of preventable accidents. Our lawyers have dedicated their careers to fighting for the rights of injury victims and are well-known in the legal field for their expertise in construction accident law. To date, we’ve recovered well over $1.5 billion for injury victims and have represented hundreds of injured construction workers as well as families who lost loved ones to fatal construction accidents. Select case results include:

  • $110,174,972 jury verdict in a Brooklyn construction accident case for a passerby who was catastrophically injured
  • $15,000,000 settlement in a Bronx wrongful death case for the surviving family after a beloved husband and father was killed at a construction site
  • $12,000,000 settlement in a Manhattan case for a construction worker who was seriously injured after falling 40 feet on the job

To learn more about our results, please visit the Construction Accident Verdicts and Settlements page. Our attorneys are here to help. To speak with a qualified attorney today, please call 212-736-5300 or fill out our Contact Form.



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