Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced increased safety measures to protect the public after a crane collapse killed a man earlier this month.
On the morning of Friday, February 5, 38-year-old David Wichs was walking down Worth Street in TriBeCa when a crane that reached 565 feet into the sky came crashing down to the sidewalk. The crane struck and killed Wichs and injured three others, two seriously.
Wichs, from the Upper West Side of Manhattan, immigrated from Czechoslovakia as a teenager. He earned a mathematics degree from Harvard and worked for the trading firm Tower Research Capital. Those who knew Wichs described him as deeply humble, warmhearted, and trustworthy. He leaves behind a wife.
The collapsed crane also caused extensive damage to the neighborhood. More than 140 firefighters, accompanied by police officers and utility workers, patrolled the area to manage water main breaks and gas leaks caused by the crash,
Wind played role in crane collapse
Galasso Trucking and Rigging, from Maspeth, Queens, was operating the crane in question. The official cause of the collapse is under investigation but the construction crew told officials that they were in the process of lowering the crane at about 8 a.m. on the morning of the accident because of gusting wind. The crane was reportedly rated to withstand wind speeds of up to 25 mph but the crew began to retract it that morning when the wind reach 20 mph.
While Mayor de Blasio remarked that it was “something of a miracle” that there were not more fatalities or injuries during the accident, he took steps to increase crane safety around the city.
A set of new restrictions will lower the wind speed limit at which a crew must secure a crane and increase the notification and safety precautions for people on the ground when cranes are in motion.
Liability in NY crane accidents
When someone is injured by a crane collapse in New York, they may be able to recover financial compensation for their losses after establishing negligence on the part of a liable party.
Some of the many factors that can result in a crane accident include:
- Defective equipment or poor maintenance;
- Poor judgment by or inadequate training of the operator;
- Lack of communication between employees; and
- Failure to follow safety procedures.
Some of the parties who may be liable for the collapse include:
- Crane owner;
- Crane operator, and whoever provided training or supervision;
- Equipment maintenance provider;
- Property owner and/or management company;
- General or sub-contractors;
- Equipment manufacturer.
A victim may be able to recover for wrongful death, medical expenses, lost wages, lost earning capacity, disability, and pain and suffering. When the victim is a construction worker, workers’ compensation may cover some of these costs but it is typically not enough to cover severe injuries and they may need to file a lawsuit.
At the Long Island law firm of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, our personal injury attorneys can assist victims of NYC crane accidents with aggressive representation to secure maximum compensation on your behalf.
Victims of worksite accidents can contact our personal injury law firm at 1.800.469.7429 to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.