Gary Anderson, 58, was out on a delivery job transporting Sheetrock to Christopher Columbus Drive in Jersey City, where a high-rise building was being constructed, when a runaway tape measure struck him on the head shortly before 9 a.m. on Monday. He was taken to a hospital, but not long after lost his life.
It has been reported that Anderson got out of his delivery truck and was walking in the direction of the high rise when a tape measure dropped off a worker’s belt from the building’s 50th floor. The tape measure subsequently struck a piece of metal lying on the ground, bouncing off it and hitting Anderson in the head.
An AJD Construction supervisor, which is the company undertaking the construction work, reported that any contractor who is working on the construction project is required to put on a helmet. However, Carly Baldwin, a spokesperson for the New Jersey’s Public Safety Department, said that Anderson was not employed by the company.
This is a very tragic event and, whether avoidable or not, will have devastating consequences for Anderson’s family. No one expects a family member to be killed while at work, but sadly reports of construction site accidents in and around New York City and New Jersey are daily occurrences, with only the most serious reaching the press. Generally, construction workers are protected by strong safety guidelines so that many accidents are avoided.
There are cases when these guidelines become lax and workers fail to follow them strictly. No doubt, in an investigation into this deadly accident, questions will be asked as to how a tape measure managed to fall off a worker’s belt when such an incident could be devastating to anyone who is below, whether wearing a safety helmet or not. It could just have easily hit Anderson on the back, with consequences just as serious.
Once the family has said its farewells to their loved one, they will be asking questions and will want to know who is at fault. An investigation team will no doubt find out what caused the accident. It could have been failure on the part of the supervisor of the worker for not briefing him on protocols for securing tools at a height or it could have been due to the worker not securing the tape measure properly.
Once fault has been determined, Anderson’s family may have the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person who caused this devastating accident. It is through a lawsuit that the family can be financially compensated for their loss. A wrongful death claim is one way that a family can reconcile any financial losses as a result of the death of a member of their family. This can include loss of income, an amount for pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
Wrongful death lawsuits are difficult to file alone and need an experienced New York attorney such as Richard S. Jaffe Esq. He has years of experience winning successful wrongful death lawsuits for families throughout the New York region.
You can contact Richard Jaffe at the Law Offices of Cohen & Jaffe LLP, 2001 Marcus Avenue, Suite W295, Lake Success, NY 11042. Phone: 516-358-6900 or toll free: 800-483-6149.