Now You Can Use Your Smartphone To Scan Quick Response Codes On Construction Permits To Get Instant Access To Property And Project Data

Quick Response (QR) codes provide smartphone users who have downloaded a free application with immediate access to data by scanning the displayed code with their device. Similar to how a barcode provides information through a scanner, scanning the QR code of any construction permit willallow the user to learn details about the ongoing project including the approved scope of work, … Read the rest

Weight of Falling Object, Not Just Height Differential, Can Implicate Absolute Liability Under Labor Law

The 39-foot, 1,300-pound rail fell only 12-16 inches onto plaintiff’s right leg. It occurred when the plaintiff and his coworkers were using rail hooks to move the rail on top of another rail at the Steinway subway station in Queens. Upon the callman’s signal, the plaintiff’s coworkers began lifting the rail off the ground, but the plaintiff’s hooks were not … Read the rest

Window Washers Estate Wins Summary Judgment on Labor Law Violation in Scaffold Collapse

The case involving a 47-story fall of a scaffold where one of two brothers on it died and the other lived (albeit with catastrophic injuries) is wending its way through the court. This past week the estate of the deceased window washer was granted summary judgment pursuant to Labor Law 240(1) (the scaffold law) in Cumbicos v. Tractel Inc., 103247/08, … Read the rest

NYC Buildings Department No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program In Progress Until May 31

Retaining walls are designed to hold back soil that would move to a more natural slope or incline if the wall was not in place. Every homeowner is required by law to maintain their walls and their properties in a safe condition at all times. Under the No-Penalty Retaining Wall Inspection Program, homeowners may call 311 to request an inspection … Read the rest

Sixth-Annual Construction Safety Week Starts This Monday

The New York City Buildings Departments Construction Safety Week has, since 2005, been a week-long series of events aimed at raising awareness about safe construction practices. Construction-related fatalities dropped 84% in 2009 when compared to 2008, and these events are a critical way to continue that trend. This year Construction Safety Week will run from April 26 to April 30, … Read the rest

Do You Think a Plea Bargain Was Appropriate for Taking Bribes to Fake Crane Inspections?

Last week New York City’s former chief crane inspector, James Delayo, admitted that he took “more than $10,000” in bribes to fake inspections and overlook unqualified crane operators. Prosecutors have said Delayo’s individual payoffs ranged from $200 to $3,000. Delayos crimes are said to be unrelated to the two fatal crane collapses that occurred in 2008. Delayo’s plea deal shaved … Read the rest

Building Owner Charged with Manslaughter in Death of Construction Worker Loses Bid to Suppress Incriminating Statements

On March 12, 2008, the basement foundation wall of a two-story wood-frame residential building located at 795 Glenmore Avenue in Brooklyn collapsed into the construction site on the adjoining parcel at 793 and 791 Glenmore Avenue, causing the death of a construction worker who was working in the excavation site at the time of the collapse. The laborers were digging … Read the rest

Indictment Accuses Mob of Infiltrating NYC Building Department, Taking Bribes To Grant Building Permits, Expedite Inspections And Overlook Building Violations

The Manhattan District Attorney on October 1, 2009, announced the indictment and arrest of 29 people and four corporations for enterprise corruption, bribery, bribe receiving, extortion, narcotics, and firearms trafficking, and illegal gambling. Among the individual defendants are members and associates of the Cosa Nostra Lucchese Organized Crime Family (Lucchese Crime Family), including three inspectors formerly employed by the New … Read the rest

First Department Debates How Much Effort Court of Appeals Requires a Worker To Make To Search For Safety Devices At The Construction Work Site

In Cherry v. Time Warner, Inc., — N.Y.S.2d —-, 2009 WL 2497974 (1 Dept. August 18, 2009), the plaintiff was securing sheet rock to the ceiling on the third floor when he fell off a baker’s scaffold onto the concrete floor eight feet below. The scaffold measuring approximately two feet wide by six to eight feet long had guardrails … Read the rest

New Yorks Statutes Aimed at Protecting Construction Workers Held to Apply to Accident on Indian Reservation

In Alexander v. Hart, — N.Y.S.2d —-, 2009 WL 1955556, 2009 N.Y. Slip Op. 05716 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept., 2009) the plaintiff, a service technician, fell while working on a rooftop heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit at defendants’ fitness center on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation in Franklin County. The defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiff’s Labor Law 240(1) and … Read the rest