Indictments in Fatal New York City Crane Collapse and Deutsche Bank Fire

On January 5, 2009, the master rigger involved in the 200-ft-high tower crane that collapsed at a Midtown high-rise site March 15, 2008, killing six workers and a civilian, was indicted on multiple charges of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, assault and reckless endangerment.

Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau also said rigger William Rapetti and his firm Rapetti Rigging Services Inc., Massapequa Park, N.Y., failed to file tax returns for 2006 and 2007. The following day, another contractor official at the troubled Deutsche Bank asbestos-abatement and demolition site near Ground Zero was indicted in connection with a 2007 fire at Read the rest

Death and Injuries Prompt Major League Baseball To Require That Each New Bat Be Examined and Certified For Safety

A major issue of concern that arose during this past baseball season was the frequent incidence of shattering baseball bats, particularly shattering maple bats. In fact, the issue was of such concern that baseball’s Safety and Health Advisory Committee was convened to study the problem and issue recommendations, including, if deemed appropriate, banning the use of maple bats.

After studying thousands of broken bats and hundreds that shattered into multiple pieces, the committee concluded the cause was the poor-quality “slope of grain” and ruptures caused by excessive bending. It was concluded that there was no inherent weakness in using … Read the rest

Add Laser Beams to List of Potential Injury Hazards at Concerts

People go to hear live music for a good time, but it’s not unheard of for disaster in the form of personal injury or death to strike. For example, on February 20 2003, fire erupted at a Great White concert killing 100 and injuring 180. The concert fire started when a spark from the band’s pyrotechnic gerbs display ignited the soundproofing foam insulation lining the walls of the club as Great White began their set.

On march 25, 1990, an arsonist started a fire at an unlicensed social club in the Bronx, New York, called “Happy Land”, that killed 87 … Read the rest

NYC Construction Site Crane Accident Puts Increased Attention on the City’s Buiding Department Inspection System

In developments related to the March 16, 2008, crane accident in New York City, a city inspector has been charged with lying that he had checked on the construction crane when in fact he had not. The inspection was purportedly made in response to a complaint made by a retired contractor on March 4 because he had been concerned for days about the lack of braces securing the crane at a construction site.

The inspector, Edward Marquette, 46, was charged with falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing. If convicted, he faces up to four years … Read the rest

Medtronic Urges Doctors to Stop Using Defibrillator Leads After Linking Five Deaths to Breaks in Them

The nation’s largest maker of implanted heart devices, Medtronic, said yesterday that it was voluntarily urging doctors to stop using a family of leads known as the Sprint Fidelis, a crucial component in its most recent implantable defibrillator models, because the leads break too often.

Medtronic told doctors to stop using the Sprint Fidelis wires after linking five deaths to breaks in them. The company said the Fidelis wires failed slightly more often than the thicker wires they were meant to replace. A lead is a wire that connects the heart to a defibrillator, a device implanted near the shoulder … Read the rest