Corruption Scandal Brings Down Some New York City Building Inspectors and Alarms Construction Accident Lawyers

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A minimum of six building inspectors are found to be accepting bribes in return for ignoring violations and expediting construction and building permits. New York construction accident lawyers and construction workers alike are horrified that those in such top positions, responsible for protecting lives and property, can act so callously.

Six building inspectors will be arrested later this month on charges of pocketing bribes and compromising safety at New York City construction sites, as reported by the New York Post. All were caught on videotape taking the bribes during the course of the investigation, infuriating New York construction accident lawyers such as David Perecman.

The charges are the result of a nearly two-year probe into an originally unrelated New Jersey case involving the Luchese mob, gambling and drugs. Only after mob targets were recorded talking about a corrupt building inspector did investigators start following inspectors on their rounds and eavesdropping on their conversations. What they found was that for a small $50 or $100 payoff, the corrupt building inspectors were willing to look the other way on violations that had the potential to stop construction at more than one site.

While on duty, several of the inspectors were also caught selling prescription drugs, OxyCotin and Vicadin, as well as minor amounts of cocaine. Notably, two of the city employees to be arrested are known by law enforcement as Luchese associates.

The probe was a joint operation between the New York Police Department and Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau's office.

"It's horrifying and incredible that people in such great positions of responsibility would abuse the authority entrusted in them and risk the lives of construction workers and the people of the City," said New York construction accident lawyer David Perecman, who was also amazed that the bribe amounts were so minuscule compared to the risks.

Based on the latest national census of fatal occupational injuries from the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction jobs already rank high on the list of the most dangerous jobs in America. Building inspectors are presumed to maintain construction site safety, as one of their many responsibilities.

The majority of the construction sites employing the corrupt city workers were located in the Bronx, New York. Construction accident lawyers are only too glad that these bribable building inspectors were suspended before anyone got hurt.

"If anything were to happen, the expense to the city would be far greater than the cash payoffs. Those corrupt city inspectors were taking incredible risks with the safety of construction workers, resident of the City, multimillion dollar projects, and millions of tax dollars that may have gone to settle some pretty serious lawsuits," said Perecman, voicing the thoughts of other New York construction accident lawyers.

New York City's Department of Buildings should consider themselves lucky that other people were doing their jobs with due diligence.

About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:

For the past 25 years, the New York construction accident lawyers, construction accident, auto accident and medical malpractice lawyers at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have championed all types of cases for construction accidents. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, is the past Secretary of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) and a chair of its Labor Law Committee. Mr. Perecman's achievements have brought him recognition as an Honoree in the National Law Journal's Hall of Fame, in New York Magazine's "The Best Lawyers in America" and The New York Times Magazine "New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition".

The Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its clients. Among the more recent victories, Mr. Perecman won a $15 million verdict* for a construction accident, a $5.35 million dollar verdict** for an automobile accident, and a $40 million dollar structured settlement for medical malpractice.

*later settled while on appeal for $7.940 million
** later settled for $3.5 million
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"Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome."

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Michael Gustman
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