On February 5, 2016 a 500-foot crawler crane collapsed during an approaching winter storm. The crane damaged buildings in Tribeca and killed 30-year old David Wichs. Following the incident, the Department of Buildings temporarily banned the use of crawler crane’s around the five boroughs.
Additionally, the Department of Buildings drafted new regulations to make crane operations safer. However, the construction industry groups were not given a seat at the table during the drafting process.
According to Crain’s New York Business, the new rules were released in March and June. The construction trade groups believe that the new regulations add additional burdens, time and costs but fail to improve safety.
On October 26, the construction industry filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court challenging the law requiring operators to stop work when winds reach 30 miles per hour.
The trade groups argue that there is no scientific evidence for the 30 miles per hour rule and that the city did not take proper legislative channels in enforcing the decade-old law. Also, the city had not waited to find out the cause of the fatal accident in February before acting. Further, the construction industry claims that they should have to follow the guidelines written by the particular crane manufacturer, which they believe to be safer, as opposed to the city’s rule.
The City of New York argues,“If the newly enforced regulation withstands legal challenge, construction sites will have to shut down more frequently resulting in reduced risk of catastrophes.”
According to Crain’s,“the lawsuit alleges that over eight months in 2016, winds met or exceeded 30 mph 25 percent of the time.” According to officials,“safety is paramount, and crane operation rules are put in place to protect lives and [cranes] should not be operating at high wind speeds.”
The construction accident lawyers at Levine & Slavit, PLLC have years of experience handling personal injury claims in New York City, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and surrounding areas. Contact our New York City and Long Island personal injury law office at (212) 687-2777.