Attorney Advertising
Chiariello & Chiariello - Attorneys at Law
Chiariello & Chiariello
View Our Practice Areas

Lawsuits can be multi-faceted

Many people are under the impression that when someone is killed in a tragic accident that it is simple to determine who was at fault and assign liability to that person or entity.

In reality, it's usually far more complicated than it might appear. One example that perfectly illustrates this principle is the 2016 crane collapse in Tribeca that occurred during the morning commute on a windy day in February. A passerby, a mathematician who graduated from Harvard, was walking to his job on Wall Street when he was crushed by the toppled crane that also injured three others.

The ensuing investigation concluded that the crane operator's negligence caused the piece of heavy equipment to tip over and fatally injure the pedestrian.

Case goes to Manhattan Supreme Court

Cut to mid-December of last year. That was when the crane operator filed a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court against the investigators who concluded that he was at fault for the freak accident. The operator claims that he was defamed and that he was never the "root cause" of the tragic mishap.

It was a company that was unaffiliated with the city, Crane Tech Solutions, that attributed a series of mistakes to the collapse of the crane.

The lawsuit is not the only litigation in the pipeline for the former heavy equipment operator. He also seeks to file suit against the city government for an additional $2.5 million. That proposed case also deals with the alleged defamation the operator claims to have suffered as a result of the investigators' findings. However, for him to move forward in that legal action, he must be granted judicial permission after he missed a filing deadline.

Investigations continued...

When the Buildings Department investigated the fatal accident, they determined that the 58-year-old operator was remiss for not securing the boom on the crane the night before it tipped over.

In his petition against the defendant in the first lawsuit, the operator avers that because the investigation never "properly investigate[d] and report[ed] the root causes of the crane collapse," it was inherently flawed.

The spokesperson for the City Buildings Department commented that "[the operator] acted recklessly, with tragic results. We suspended his crane operator's license last year, an action that remains in effect today."

While it isn't possible to sort out fact from fiction in a case outside of a courtroom, this is an interesting example of disputed liability after a worksite fatality.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Call 888-692-1540 for a
free initial consultation

Glen Cove Office

Chiariello & Chiariello
147 Glen Street
Glen Cove, NY 11542

Telephone: 888-692-1540
Fax: 516-801-8099
Email | Glen Cove Law Office Map

Forest Hills Office

by appointment only
Chiariello & Chiariello
118-21 Queens Boulevard, Suite 609
Forest Hills, NY 11375

Phone: 888-692-1540
Email | Forest Hills Law Office Map