A lifeline is an important means of protection for construction workers. It is a flexible line usually with anchorage at one or both ends that connects workers to personal fall arrest systems. Preventing falls is vital in the construction industry, where falls are the number one cause of death of construction workers in the U.S., besides transportation accidents. If you or a family member suffered serious injuries because of a defective lifeline, call our office at (212) 732-9000 to speak with one of our experienced attorney for a free case evaluation.
A product liability or negligence claim involving a defective lifeline often involves catastrophic personal injuries. A lifeline that does not work as intended to protect a construction worker from a fall could cause traumatic head and brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis, multiple broken bones and wrongful death. Hiring a lawyer can help victims obtain maximum compensation for such serious injuries. A lawyer can give plaintiffs peace of mind in taking over complex legal processes while victims and their families focus on healing.
A defective lifeline is one that does not meet required safety, quality or performance standards through some product flaw. New York Labor Law Section 23.1.16 requires attachment of every employee to an approved safety belt or harness, which the employee must wear during the performance of his/her work whenever lawfully required. Safety devices must properly attach to a securely anchored tail line or hanging lifeline. It is the employer’s duty to provide approved safety devices and to properly train all employees on how to wear and use them.
If an employer breaches the duty to provide proper lifelines or conduct adequate training, the employer may be liable for a worker’s subsequent injuries or death. If, however, the lifeline contained a defect, the manufacturer or distributor could be liable. A lifeline with a design flaw, manufacturing defect or marketing error could put workers’ lives at risk. In accidents involving a defective lifeline, the victim may have a product liability claim against the product manufacturer.
The State of New York abides by strict liability laws for most product liability claims. This means that, in many cases, plaintiffs do not bear a burden to prove the defendant’s negligence. Instead, the courts will hold the manufacturer or distributor of the defective product strictly liable for a consumer’s damages. All that a plaintiff’s lawyer must prove is that the product contained a defect and that the product caused the injuries in question.
Liability for a defective lifeline case in New York City will most likely fall to the product manufacturer. If, however, the lifeline was dangerously unfit for use because of someone else’s negligence (e.g., an employer improperly maintaining the lifeline), that party could bear liability. Some cases involve more than one defendant. Determining who could be responsible for your accident or that of a loved one may take an investigation from an attorney.
Sullivan Papain Block McGrath and Cannavo P.C. has years of experience handling all types of construction accident claims in New York. We recognize the immense risk of falls at construction sites and know how deadly they can be for workers. We are passionate about advocating for the rights of injured construction workers and their families. If you believe a lifeline manufacturing company or another party was negligent and accountable for your or your loved one’s recent personal injuries, contact us right away. Our lawyers can discuss your rights with you.