A crane accident attorney in New York City must know the ins and outs of the law. Projects that need cranes are usually very large projects. These large projects are covered by substantial insurance policies. Crane accidents can cause catastrophic injuries. When you consider all of these factors, it should be no surprise that developers hire the best defense attorneys to defend crane accident cases.
In a notable crane accident near Hudson Yards, an injured worker’s attorney sued the developers and the general contractor (the defendants). The worker’s accident occurred while a 90,000-pound steel column was being hoisted by a crane.
On the morning of the accident, the worker reported to an unloading area to offload a steel column from a trailer. The column was 18 feet long and weighed 90,000 pounds. The worker served as a “hooker on” during the hoisting process. This means he was responsible for attaching a hook to the column. He also served as a “line tag man.” This means he was responsible for controlling the column with a tag line.
He stood on the bed of the trailer with a co-worker. The two of them rigged the column by wrapping chokers around each end of it. These chokers attached to the crane by hooks. After that, they attached ropes to the metal hooks, known as tag lines. They held the tag lines to control the column as it hoisted. As the crane lifted the column it suddenly accelerated. The worker had to pull down hard on the tag line to keep the column under control. He stepped back as he pulled down on the line. Suddenly the line detached from the hook which sent the worker flying backwards. He fell off the side of the trailer and landed on the ground. After the crane accident, the worker saw that the hook bent which allowed it to disengage from the load.
The worker’s foreman said the hooks used for the job were deficient. They were smaller and weaker than the ones normally used for tag lines. Prior to the accident, the foreman complained to the general superintendent that the hooks were not right for the work. The defendants produced two experts who opined that the worker could not generate the amount of force needed to deform the hook.
After depositions the worker’s crane accident attorney asked the judge to decide liability in his favor. In return the defendants asked the judge to dismiss the worker’s case. The worker’s attorney argued that New York’s scaffold law applied to the crane accident. Specifically, the worker argued that the defendants failed protect him from the risks caused by the falling tag line. In addition, the worker argued that defendants failed to protect him from the gravity related risk of falling off the trailer. The defendants argued that because none of the objects hoisted by the crane struck the worker, that the falling object portion of the law did not apply.
The judge disagreed and found the defendants liable for the worker’s crane accident. The judge noted that the scaffold law protects workers from gravity-related hazards. This is true even if the hazards are uncommon or unexpected. Because the crane accident occurred because the defendants failed to protect the worker, they are responsible for his injuries and damages.
Because there are so many high-rise buildings built and renovated in New York, crane accidents occur regularly. Cranes are involved in the heaviest portions of construction work. They can cause serious and catastrophic accidents. If involved in an crane accident you need to contact a personal injury attorney who will go toe-to-toe with the defense big guns to get you the compensation you deserve.