Harco Construction, Tappan Zee Crane Collapse, and Other Construction Accidents

About Ronemus & Vilensky

The attorneys at Ronemus & Vilensky prepare each case as if it were going to trial, whether it does or not. If the insurance company does not offer a fair settlement, we will be prepared to try the case in court.


Part of progress is the continuous improvement of establishments, buildings, etc. through repairs or building new ones. But construction is dangerous work. Even after a number of safety inspections to ensure the safety of workers and equipment, accidents still happen. Construction accidents in New York is not uncommon considering that it’s one of the most progressive cities in America. In the whole world even. Although truth be told, just because it is not uncommon does mean it’s okay for it to happen. Construction accidents can seriously injure workers and civilians, even kill people at times.

Working with heavy machinery and construction equipment is one risk of being in a construction site. Not to mention having to work way below ground level or too high above street level. So what protects people from construction accidents in New York?

I’ll tell you the law protects construction workers. But the first level of defense is safety inspections, insurance and companies abiding with safety regulations. If either one of these gets violated and a construction accident occurs, victims and injured parties have every right to file against the company or the state.

Let’s take a look at construction accidents in New York that happened this 2016:

Construction Company Guilty of Manslaughter for Immigrant Worker’s Death

building collapse in New York
Shown in the photo is a building which collapsed during construction in New York.

This was a headline on June 10, 2016. An immigrant worker from Ecuador, Carlos Monyaco died too young at 22-year-old due to a construction accident in Queens, NY. Monyaco was employed by Harco Construction, a company who had ignored repeated warnings about dangerous conditions at a site on Ninth Avenue. Due to the company’s negligence, a 14-foot trench collapsed on April 6, 2015 killing Monyaco by thousands of pounds of dirt.

The Harco case was watched closely because criminal liability has often been hard to prove in construction accidents in New York City. This one seems to be a sweet victory. The judge ruled out the verdict on a Friday in favor of Monyaco. The verdict brought Carlos Monyaco’s mother to tears who flew from Ecuador after her son’s death.

Tappan Zee Crane Collapse

tappan zee bridge crane collapse
This is a photo of the Tappan Zee Bridge crane collapse accident.

At halfway point of the Tappan Zee bridge replacement, as a new boom is being installed just off the Rockland County shore of the river collapsed. The crane and the lifted material collapsed into the existing bridge and blocked 7 lanes of traffic. This incident had caused so much hassle to the people of New York as traffic was so horrible. It was a definite disaster as the existing bridge is a major thoroughfare in the city.

The accident didn’t cause any deaths although a few minor injuries were obtained by some. The collapse of the Tappan Zee crane is still being investigated up to date. Although initial investigation clearly states that it wasn’t due to the weather that the crane collapsed. It was also perceived that the crane operator and workers weren’t to blame for it. Investigators have a hunch that the Tappan Zee accident is caused by the kind of crane used for the construction.

Construction Accident in Queens Claimed 2 Lives

At around 12:10pm of November 22, 2016, there was a construction accident at 81-10 134th Street in the Briarwood neighborhood. A beam was being raised for the construction of an apartment complex when the beam fell at about four stories high from the ground. The beam hit the cab of the crane and immediately killed the crane operator. As soon as the beam hit the ground, another worker who was assisting the raising of the beam was struck as well. The 6,500-pound beam killed the other worker on ground as well.

Preliminary investigation of the accident reveals that the problem may have been caused by the crane’s rigging. And not the wind as originally speculated prior to investigation. The work site had no open violations and the crane operator had no history of discipline, the Buildings Department said. The crane passed an inspection in June. Making it a total shock as to why this construction accident occurred at all.

Construction is a very risky job. Accidents can truly happen at times no matter how careful workers and management may be. If you or someone you love have been a victim of a construction accident in New York City, see a lawyer right away to discuss your options to obtain necessary compensation for the injury or endangerment. A good and experienced construction accident lawyer will be able to get you the right justice by trial or private mediation.