Friday, July 24, 2015

Eagle: worker struck in the head by hoist during Barclays Center construction awarded $4.9M

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle yesterday published Worker awarded $4.9M after Barclays Center construction accident. The case was captioned Michael Melville v. Brooklyn Arena, LLC, New York State Urban Development Corp. d/b/a Empire State Development Corp., and Hunt Construction Group, Inc.

According to the Eagle:
In October 2011 the plaintiff, a 53-year-old union ironworker at the construction site for the Barclays Center, was struck in the head by a “come-along,” a type of hoist, as it fell from 12 feet above. The 40-pound device, which is used in the construction industry to pull loads up to 3 tons, broke Melville’s hard hat when it fell. He was rendered briefly unconscious and was removed from the site via ambulance to a hospital.
While the defense conceded liability during the trial--the plaintiffs alleged an elevation-related hazard--the trial addressed damages. While the defense claimed that Melville's limitation on activities resulted from a 1996 accident, the plaintiff said the incident not only required further treatment but kept him from work.

I wasn't there, but surely if he was working in October 2011, that couldn't have limited him too much. The Eagle reported a jury verdict of $4.9 million "for past and future pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost earnings." I'm not sure if the verdict will be appealed, but that's not atypical.

Other incidents

Yesterday, DNAinfo reported that a worker "installing a metal roof deck... fell about 20 feet to a roof on the eight floor of 168 39th St., near Second Avenue, about 7 a.m., according to a [Brooklyn Nets] spokesman and Department of Buildings." That's the site of the under-construction Nets training facility. The worker was unconscious but expected to survive.

The Department of Buildings has issued a violation regarding the lack of proper safeguards. DNAinfo reported that the company overseeing the site, the Gilbane Building Company, did not immediately comment.

Also, a worker was killed in February during the green roof construction of the Barclays Center. A violation was levied but not yet resolved. (The hearing has been postponed multiple times, and is now scheduled for October 28.) I wouldn't be surprised if a lawsuit is filed.

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