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New York Crane Owner Under the Gun as Trial Reopens

New Yorkers may be almost immune to disasters following various violent acts occurring in their city. But when a crane collapsed on the Upper East Side, the Big Apple focused its attention yet again on who was to blame. This incident came on the heels of a previous crane accident that claimed the lives of seven.

The city crane owner was charged with manslaughter at his criminal trial, but was ultimately acquitted. New safety measures over crane safety and guidelines resulted from the incident.

But the saga is not over yet.

Legal representation for the two men killed in the accident has reopened the case in a civil wrongful death trial.

Civil court holds a higher bar in finding liability, and it can also assign blame to different persons, including the plaintiff.

Families of the deceased reiterate accusations that the owner was negligent on the job, stating that heavy equipment does not just fall from the sky. They claim the owner did not properly monitor the repair of a key part of the crane that failed, causing it to collapse in heavy pieces. As its parts tumbled down, its 30-year-old operator, and a 27-year-old sewer worker, was killed.

The owner alleges his repairs were done properly, stating the crane operator made mistakes that interfered with the crane’s stability, but his family cried out in protest. This had been suggested at the criminal trial but was rejected.

The mechanic who had completed the repair had pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and ordered to perform community service for one year.

The crane broke apart tragically on a high-rise construction site in Manhattan. The defense may still rely on the actions of the man operating the crane at the time of its malfunction, alluding to how he may have made an error in its handling.

Construction worker’s accidents are widespread in New York. There are multiple details to study and investigate that can account for a fatal accident. If you or a loved one have suffered a tragedy at a construction site, there are entities in the area who can help you and your family determine if negligence played a part in your loss.

Source: Fox News, “Wrongful death trial opens in New York crane collapse; owner was acquitted of criminal charges” No author given, May. 24, 2014