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Ceiling collapses, causing fatal construction injuries


The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, but just like any other time of the year, accidents could happen. Tragedy struck a New York construction worker the days after Thanksgiving at a car dealership on Staten Island was recently the site of a fatal construction accident.

During the morning hours, a 43-year-old man was killed by construction injuries when the ceiling of the Dana Ford Lincoln dealership suddenly fell on him. The three other men working alongside the man were able to escape unharmed. Emergency crews responded, attempted to perform CPR on the man, but he later died at the hospital he was transported to.

The New York City Buildings Department is in the process of investigating the work accident. The company in charge of the project, Formica Construction, has been cited for previous violations. Just last year, the company received two violations related to storage and fencing issues.

This recent accident was not the first time that a Formica Construction employee was killed on the job. Another construction worker was killed in 2003 and one of Formica's owners spent 16 weekends incarcerated after admitting that he aware that the trench that killed the man was unsafe. He was also cited and required to pay a $5,000 fine but was able to continue working.

There are many parties who could be responsible for a construction site accident. They include contractors, subcontractors, equipment operators, material suppliers and even the injured employee himself. It is important to understand the cause when a loved one is injured or killed in a workplace accident. The victim or his or her family could possibly receive financial compensation for physical and emotional damages.

Investigation conducted following a workplace accident could help determine cause and assign responsibility. Depending on the situation, this could result in criminal and civil actions. In the event of a fatal work accident, family members should be aware of their legal remedies. They could possibly receive workers' compensation benefits for the death of their love one.

Source: The New York Times, "Construction Worker Dies After Ceiling Collapse at Staten Island Car Dealership," Benjamin Mueller, Nov. 24, 2014

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