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Construction site building collapses in Brooklyn

A 100-year-old building in Brooklyn on the 400 block of Rutland Road partially collapsed, trapping a man in the rubble. The building was in the process of being deconstructed.

The man was allegedly rummaging for building materials on the first floor of the building. The floor collapsed under him, dropping him into the basement. While remaining conscious, he was buried up to his waist in the debris and trapped under beam for about an hour and a half before being rescued. According to paramedics, he is in critical condition but stable, and his injuries are nonlife-threatening.

The old building had been boarded up after a 2006 fire. In 2001, a neighborhood church purchased the building. Apparently, the construction site was not properly safeguarded from the public. The victim of the collapse was depicted as a “nonworker civilian.”

The owners had allegedly been issued three previous violations from the Department of Buildings. These included a violation for failure to safeguard both their workers and the property, not maintaining the building in a code-compliant manner and removing sections of the building without permits. It appears as if this construction site accident might have been avoided if regulations had been followed.

Construction sites are required to be clearly blocked off from the public. It is not clear if this man had permission to scavenge for building materials or if he was trespassing. Either way, it appears as if this building was clearly not safe since violations had already been issued.

If you are injured at a construction site, whether you are a worker or not, the owner of the construction site may be held accountable, especially if negligence is involved. Construction workers’ accidents should be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Nonworkers can still hold an owner of a building or construction company accountable if they are negligent in safeguarding their construction site.

Someone who has been injured at a construction site should contact an attorney to verify his or her rights. Even if workers’ compensation is involved, an attorney can be sure they are fully compensated for their injuries or damages.

Source: ABC 7 Eyewitness News, “Construction worker rescued in Brooklyn,” Feb. 27, 2018

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