Q: I’ve been a union plumber for 14 years. This past summer, my boss was hired to do the plumbing work for a major addition that was being built on a business building. I was working in a trench that was at least ten feet deep. The trench collapsed and I was buried up to my shoulders under a heavy load of dirt.
I suffered multiple fractures to my pelvis and injuries to my bladder and prostate for which I have undergone multiple surgeries. My doctor tells me that I can forget working as a plumber. I now suffer pain all the time. I can’t work, and I don’t know which way to turn. Can I do anything legally?
A: It appears as though you have a right of action against the owner of the commercial building on which you were working, and against the general contractor for the job. New York’s Labor Law provides protection to workers who are hurt as a result of accidents like yours.
The Industrial Code provides that trenches deeper than five feet must be shored-up in such a manner as to insure that they will not collapse on workers whose job requires them to work in trenches. If you can no longer work as a plumber, you will have a right to be compensated for your past and future lost wages and benefits. You also have the right to compensation for everything that you have been forced to go through, including your past and future pain and suffering. If you or a loved one has suffered a construction injury contact our construction accident lawyers at Cellino & Barnes now.