New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

NY Crane Operator Sues, Denies Fault in Fatal Accident

Posted on Dec 22, 2017 in Construction Accidents

Crane accidents are far too common on construction sites, especially in recent years as a result of the building boom in New York. New York City construction accident lawyers can provide representation in circumstances where a construction worker is hurt or killed in a crane accident, as well as in situations when a passerby is hurt when a crane collapse or other crane accident occurs.

When a crane accident occurs, determining the cause of the incident can be important to assess if the crane operator or construction company behaved improperly in a way that caused the accident to occur.  In some cases, however, the results of this type of investigation can prove controversial. In fact, as the New York Daily News reported, a crane operator whose license was suspended has filed a lawsuit alleging he should not have been blamed for a crane collapse that killed a passerby in Tribeca.

Operator of Crane in Fatal Accident Claims He Wasn’t at Fault

According to the New York Daily News, the crane accident that is causing the controversy occurred in February of 2016. A man was walking to work on a windy morning when the crane fell and caused his death.

An inquiry was conducted into the incident by the Department of Buildings for the city and 10 months after the accident, the inquiry was released with the assessment that the crane operator had failed to secure the crane the evening before. The inquiry also indicated that the operator of the crane had lowered the boom at an improper angle.

These factors were considered to have been the cause of the tragic fatal accident, thus leading to the suspension of the crane operator’s license.  The Department of Buildings was also moving forward with proceedings to revoke the operator’s license to operate a crane.  According to the New York Daily News, a spokesperson with the Department of Buildings indicated that their investigation had found the crane operator “acted recklessly, with tragic results.”

The crane operator has now filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court, arguing that the conclusions the Department of Buildings reached are inaccurate and amount to defamation. The crane operator indicates that because of the nature of the construction site, a full lay down of the crane each night at the end of the work day was not possible.  He indicated that because the construction site made it impossible for a full lay down of the crane to occur, the city approved work plans and permitted the crane to remain up over the course of the night.

The crane operator sued the contractor that the city had hired to conduct an analysis of the investigation and also filed notice against the city indicating he was suing for $2.5 million in damages.

The claim is under review and it remains to be seen what the final outcome is. However, the case illustrates how controversy can arise regarding fault when a crane accident or other construction incident occurs. New York City construction accident lawyers can provide assistance in cases where determining fault becomes important for victims seeking compensation for losses caused by construction site accidents.

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