Bronx Construction Worker Killed by Falling Industrial Cooler

Bronx Construction Worker Killed by Falling Industrial Cooler


12/31/2012 // New York City, New York, USA // New York City Accident Lawyer // Jonathan C Reiter // (press release)

A Bronx construction worker was killed Tuesday, December 4, 2013 when an enormous refrigeration unit, which was being hoisted from a flatbed tractor-trailer truck by a crane next to Bronx Lebanon Hospital, slid off the truck and crushed him.

The construction worker, Tristan Manamghaya, age 38, was rushed to the hospital, and declared dead some time later. Eyewitnesses said that a chain that linked the front of the trailer to the crane snapped, sending the trailer onto the sidewalk, which then caused the refrigeration unit to slide off the truck and onto Mr. Manamghaya. The construction team planned to attach the flatbed to the truck cab, but failed to secure the cooling unit, according to Tony Sclafani, Buildings Department spokesman. Because of this severe misstep, the machinery slid off the truck and onto the worker, who was guiding the crane operator just before the accident. It took the fire department an hour to remove the victim from under the unit, according to reports.

According to Jonathan C. Reiter, New York construction accident lawyer, who has handled many construction accident lawsuits, the liability for this type of accident may fall under the strict liability provisions of New York State Labor Law, section 240(1). Mr. Reiter stated: “Labor Law section 240(1) was passed by the New York State Legislature earlier in the last century, in recognition of the extremely high risk of injuries to workers at construction sites. The law imposes strict liability on the general contractor and the owner, and their agents, for injuries sustained by operation of the force of gravity. That means that if a worker falls from a height, or if something falls from a height onto a worker, the contractors, owners and their agents are held strictly liable by operation of law. However, whether this accident falls under the Labor Law depends on whether this was part of a construction project which was on-going at the hospital at the time of the accident.”

Mr. Reiter went on to state “ If this accident does not fall under the provisions of the Labor Law, it is covered by common law rules of negligence and operation of a motor vehicle, which was the tractor-trailer. Each element must be investigated, that is, who owned the chain that snapped, who linked the chain to the truck, in what manner did the chain snap and what caused it to snap, and whether the operator of the tractor trailer acted negligently in operating the tractor-trailer, thereby causing the chain to snap. Only a complete investigation will reveal the answer to these very pressing questions.

As Mr. Reiter stated: “The investigation of this matter, by the police and others, will answer the many questions that are outstanding.”

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