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Construction Site Accident Leaves 1 Dead in Queens

June 1, 2020

One of the dangers that many construction workers face is the problem of a wall collapsing. Buildings that have been only partially constructed are not as solid as many workers might think, and any number of problems could lead to a wall falling on top of them.

This tragic accident happened in late February. According to NBC New York, one man was killed and another badly injured when a wall fell at a building on the corner of 94th Avenue and Sutphin Boulevard, a block from Jamaica LIRR Train Station.

At the time, the building was currently being cleared so that a 24-story mixed-use building could take its place. Obviously, taking down a building weakens it considerably, which can lead to the collapse. Workers involved in demolition work must be especially careful.

The workers were on the second floor at the time of the accident. NBC News was on the scene quickly after the accident and noted that debris was lying on top of construction machinery.

Why Walls Collapse

Any building is designed to carry a certain amount of weight. This is called the building’s structural load. If you look at your home or apartment, you will see that many walls hold up the weight of the floor above. If you are in an apartment building, then the walls must hold up the considerable weight of all the floors above you.

When a wall becomes overwhelmed with weight, it can collapse. As a building is being demolished, some walls might be removed before others, thus increasing the weight on the remaining walls. Consequently, these walls should be reinforced until they are taken down.

Even walls that are not carrying any weight could collapse due to their own weight. Walls are heavy, and they stay in place because they are joined to the floor and the ceiling. A free-standing wall is also in danger of falling if it is not properly secured.

Negligence and Wall Collapse

We do not have any details regarding the accident near the Jamaica LIRR train station, so we do not know how or why the wall fell on two construction workers. However, negligence might be to blame.

Demolishing a building is complicated, and our New York City construction accident lawyers have seen many workers injured when contractors and subcontractors do not use adequate care. Walls should be reinforced during both construction and demolition. When critical safeguards are missing, innocent workers get injured.

Not the First Wall Collapse in NYC

Given the amount of construction in our city, building and wall collapses are not unusual. For example, a wall came falling down in a damaged synagogue in the Lower East Side in late October 2019, killing one worker. The synagogue, which had suffered damage in a fire, was in the process of being turned into a new development.

Contact a New York City Construction Accident Lawyer

If you were injured in a construction accident, Lipsig, Shapey, Manus & Moverman can help. Our experienced lawyers offer a free consultation to those who call 212-285-3300 or who fill out our contact form.


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