Posted: October 21, 2015
Witnesses told authorities that a concrete block fell as many as 30 stories from the Trump Bay Tower before it struck a New Jersey cop who was manning the street below. City spokeswoman Jennifer Morrill says the officer, who is a 16-year veteran, is in stable condition after the incident.
Trump Bay Street Tower will eventually feature nearly 450 luxury apartments once construction is completed in 2016. All work was temporarily halted on the 50-story building immediately following the accident, as measures were taken to ensure more hazardous debris was not in danger of falling.
According to Morrill, construction workers had been cutting cement cinder blocks on the 31st floor of the tower when one accidentally tumbled below, eventually hitting the officer in the torso. Amazingly, the victim’s injuries were not critical given the great fall and substantial weight of the cinder block. He was released from the Jersey City Medical Center-Barnabas Health later that same day.
Falling cinder block strikes NJ police officer
Morrill also noted that further construction on the new $194 million Trump Tower would be banned until safety netting was adequately secured where needed, scaffolding erected and all construction debris removed from the premises.
Unbelievably, this isn’t the first time a large piece of cement has fallen from a Trump Tower construction zone. Canada’s Trump International Hotel and Tower was the site of another construction workplace injury back in 2008, when a slab of concrete suddenly fell from a crane, striking a worker on the shoulder.
Construction employees, familiar with workplace hazards, heavy machinery and dangerous conditions in which they work, may anticipate risk of bodily injury on a daily basis. For them, time off work, hospital expenses and other related costs are usually covered by worker’s compensation in the event of an accident.
But what about pedestrians or bystanders like the police officer in this particular incident who was injured by falling construction debris? Are they able to recoup compensation through the courts?
Liability for falling debris
A construction company may be held responsible for physical injury, property damage and related losses associated with falling debris if it is determined that they failed to:
- Properly secure tools and equipment – Heavy tools or equipment that is not securely fastened may be prone to falling below, where it could severely injure or even kill a pedestrian or worker. Netting and other fastening devices must be well-maintained.
- Display signage – Signs must sufficiently warn about construction workplace hazards to the pedestrian, such as the possibility of falling objects and debris.
- Regularly inspect or maintain machinery/equipment – The inspection and maintenance of construction equipment on a regular basis can mean the difference between life and death. Objects may fall from great heights if securing cords, clasps or hooks weaken and fail.
- Install barricades – that keep pedestrians a safe distance from construction zones where accidents are more likely to be life-threatening given their lack of hard hats.
Ultimately, these types of issues will be thoroughly investigated before pursuing a personal injury lawsuit. Liable parties may potentially include the general contractor, subcontractors and/or the owner of the building.
For more than two decades, Eisbrouch Marsh attorneys have been helping victims of construction site accidents with impressive results. To speak with tenacious, goal-oriented personal injury attorneys New Jersey trusts about your legal options, please call us today to arrange a free consultation. We are here to help you get your life back on track. Call 201-561-8366.
- NJ.com, Cement piece falls from new Trump tower, injuring Jersey City cop, http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2015/09/cement_piece_falls_from_new_trump_tower_injuring_j.html
- Philly Voice, Concrete block falls from new Trump tower, injures N.J. police officer, http://www.phillyvoice.com/concrete-trump-tower-injures-nj-police-officer/
- The Star, Chunk of concrete falls on worker at Trump Tower, http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2008/11/26/chunk_of_concrete_falls_on_worker_at_trump_tower.html