A tragedy occurred on Thursday afternoon when a 52-year old architect from New Jersey fell to his death from a skyscraper under construction in Mid-town Manhattan. According to a report by the New York Daily News, the victim, fell to the ground from the 42nd floor of the 46-floor skyscraper near W. 53rd St. and Sixth Ave. about 2:15 p.m. The building itself is apparently under construction and the architect was lawfully on the premises in his capacity as an architect. The exact cause of this tragedy remains under investigation by the New York Police Department and the New York Department of Buildings.
Accidents like this one potentially implicate the New York State Labor Law. Labor law 240 (1), also known as New York's "scaffold law," places absolute liability on the general contractor and owner in cases where a worker suffered an elevation related injury. Under this statute, general contractors and property owners may be liable when a construction worker suffers an injury on the worksite from an elevated fall or from an object falling from elevation. General contractors and property owners may be found liable in all instances where an elevation related injury occurred.
This accident also implicates the Wrongful Death laws of the State of New York. To have grounds for a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim's family must be able to prove that the responsible party acted negligently. For the responsible party to have acted negligently, they must have had a duty of care-a legal responsibility to act with a degree of caution when performing potentially dangerous actions-to the victim. The responsible party acted negligently if they violated their duty of care. Additionally, the victim's family must be able to prove that the responsible party's negligence was the direct cause of death. Furthermore, the victim's death must have inflicted either economic or non-economic damages on their family.
Due to the complex nature of construction accident lawsuits, it's within the best interest of victims to seek the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney.