A family was injured on Monday when scaffolding debris fell on them during an afternoon walk on the Upper West Side.
An innocent young child and her mother were walking beneath scaffolding at the corner of West 78th Street and Amsterdam Avenue at 2:42 p.m. on Monday, March 7, when they were violently struck with falling debris. Luckily, the family suffered only minor injuries. The FDNY was called to the scene and the mother and daughter were taken to Cornell Hospital for treatment and subsequent release.
The crash was heard in the immediate area as debris fell from scaffolding erected around the building on the block. Horrified witnesses saw the debris fall on the family and described the daughter as a “young baby.” Future walks through the city for the mother and daughter will likely be fraught with anxiety, spent looking up for falling debris.
Luckily, the physical injuries in this incident were minor, but the trauma of a falling debris accident could last a lifetime. Accidents like this are preventable and families should not fear an afternoon walk under what they otherwise trust to be a safe construction site. How could this traumatic event have been prevented? On all construction sites, scaffolding should be properly installed, and safety practices should be enforced to prevent any debris from falling on innocent pedestrians below. OSHA has regulations in place to hold construction companies responsible for maintaining a safe work site, and that includes the prevention of falling objects.
Construction companies are required to make sure that they are operating a safe environment free of falling debris. Even small debris like nails and tools can pose a serious risk to people below, as objects speed up significantly when they fall. Small objects falling from a few stories above can accelerate to deadly speeds, causing traumatic pain and suffering.
Legally, when debris falls from scaffolding (or scaffolding itself falls) and injures innocent victims, what can families do to make sure their pain and suffering is paid for? Compensation can be recovered from the negligent party to help provide relief for survivors, with the help of a team of attorneys who are well-versed in falling object and scaffolding cases.
The attorneys at Block O’Toole & Murphy understand the trauma and catastrophic effects that falling objects can cause a family. We have a long history of successfully recovering compensation for clients that have suffered damages from falling objects and scaffolding-related accidents.
Notable results for victims of falling objects include:
- $3,500,000 settlement for a pedestrian who was struck by a piece of falling debris that fell from an apartment building on Park Avenue
- $15,000,000 settlement for the surviving wife and children of a worker who was crushed by a 28,450-pound commercial air chiller when the chains holding it broke
- $1,475,000 settlement for a delivery man in Brooklyn who was injured by falling debris from an adjacent building