Bribery Case Exposes Need for Stricter Oversight of Construction Site Safety, New York Attorney Says

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New York attorney Steven J. Schwartzapfel, who represents workers injured in construction trades, says a bribery case involving a city crane inspector highlights the need for stricter oversight of work site safety

Steven J. Schwartzapfel

This case illustrates why we need stricter oversight and enforcement of the important safety regulations that are in place to protect New York City workers.

Two construction-crane company employees pleaded guilty this week to bribing a city inspector to bypass inspections and licensing exams in a case that has exposed the need for stricter oversight of construction site safety, New York attorney Steven J. Schwartzapf el says.

According to news reports, Nu-Way Crane Service Inc. official Michael Sackaris admitted to a Manhattan court that the company paid a safety inspector more than $10,000 to fake results for inspections that were never conducted and to falsely certify that company workers had passed crane operator tests.

One worker, Michael Pascalli, pleaded guilty this week to a false-filing charge. The city inspector, James Delayo, had already pleaded guilty to receiving bribes that prosecutors say ranged from $200 to $3,000 each.

“The conduct these men have admitted to shows a reckless disregard for the safety of our city’s construction workers and the public at large,” said Schwartzapfel, founding member of Schwartzapfel Truhowsky Marcus P.C., a law firm that represents workers injured in construction trades. “This case illustrates why we need stricter oversight and enforcement of the important safety regulations that are in place to protect New York City workers.”

The bribery case arose in 2008 after two deadly crane accidents involving another company, which prompted the city to add more crane inspectors, increase training requirements and change the way licensing exams are given.

Construction site safety has become a growing concern in the city, especially after a recent U.S. Labor Department report revealed that New York City, in contrast to the nationwide trend, has witnessed a spike in work site deaths.

The report indicated that 31 workers died on New York job sites in 2008, marking an increase from 24 in 2007. Across the country, however, work site deaths decreased by more than 10 percent during the same time period.

About Schwartzapfel Partners

Schwartzapfel Truhowsky Marcus P.C. is a well-respected plaintiff personal injury firm in New York. With more than 150 years of combined experience and highly competent co-counsel throughout the country, Schwartzapfel Partners serves all your legal needs.

The firm concentrates in all types of personal injury litigation, including construction accidents, workplace injuries, workers’ compensation, motor vehicle accidents (auto, truck, motorcycle, taxi), medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, wrongful death, defective products and drugs, and Social Security disability. To contact the firm, call 1.800.966.4999 or go to http://www.fightingforyou.com for more information.

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Steven J. Schwartzapfel

Mike Dayton