The law as it now stands helps keep workers safe by holding employers and owners accountable if workers are injured or die because of unsafe conditions at their worksites.
New York, NY (PRWEB) July 24, 2014
New York construction accident attorney Edgar N. Romano of Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, L.L.P. today urged critics of the New York scaffold law to consider viewpoints from injured workers, including an ironworker who nearly died after falling 15 feet at a worksite.
The former ironworker, Mark Volpe of Yonkers, NY, told his story in a July 15 article in The Journal News. “Lawmakers in Albany declined to water down the Scaffold Safety Law again this year and, as a construction accident survivor, I say thank goodness,” Volpe wrote in The Journal News.
Volpe wrote in the article that he was an experienced ironworker who knew his way around construction sites. According to the article, he fell one day after his employer failed to provide him with a safety harness and proper fall protection. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, post-concussive syndrome, torn shoulder and hip joints, and fractures in his spine and pelvis after falling. He continues to undergo physical therapy six days a week and has had spinal surgery and a hip replacement, according to The Journal News.
Volpe wrote that the Scaffold Safety Law, which makes property owners and contractors liable for most “gravity-related” injuries to workers on construction sites, allowed him to rebuild his life.
Attorney Romano described why the law – formally known as New York State’s Labor Law §240 – must be preserved. “Construction workers face unique risks every day on the job,” Romano said. “Their jobs are dangerous. A fall – even one from a relatively low height – can end a career and have a devastating impact on the worker and his or her family. The Scaffold Law protects the workers’ rights. It allows them to sue and pursue punitive damages and compensation for pain and suffering. Without the protection of the Scaffold Law, the workers and their families might only be eligible for workers’ compensation, which provides a portion of their wages and medical benefits. They might be unable to pay their bills and support their families.”
Under the law, workers’ employers are responsible for providing necessary safety training and equipment to keep workers safe from falls, according to Romano. The law also makes the employer strictly liable when a worker is injured, which means a worker can be injured through his own negligence and still be entitled to a recovery.
The law was adopted in 1885, but has come under fire recently from contractors, property owners and insurance companies who have lobbied lawmakers for changes. Efforts to reform the Scaffold Law have stalled in the Legislature, according to The Journal News.
“If the law is modified, I’m concerned about the safety of the workers who put their lives on the line every day,” Romano said. “The law as it now stands helps keep workers safe by holding employers and owners accountable if workers are injured or die because of unsafe conditions at their worksites. If you were injured or a loved one was injured or killed, it’s important to know your rights. Don’t hesitate to speak to an experienced New York work accident attorney.”
The Journal News article cited is “View: Keep the Scaffold Law strong.”
About Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, L.L.P.
Edgar Romano was named one of the “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in New York” in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and has been recognized as a Super Lawyer every year since 2010. He received his undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and his Juris Doctorate degree from the John Marshall Law School. With a focus on workers’ compensation cases in New York City, Romano is on the Board of Directors of the New York State Workers Compensation Bar Association and previously served as president of the Workers Injury Law and Advocacy Group.
With 80 years of experience hearing over 100,000 cases, Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, L.L.P. has obtained settlements totaling over a billion dollars for New Yorkers. With 100 legal professionals on staff, the law firm has won numerous accolades for providing its clients with strong, reliable legal representation and has a well-earned reputation as one of the top law firms for cases involving workplace accidents and cases involving workers compensation and Social Security disability.
For more information about what to do after you or your loved one has been hurt in the New York City area, call (800) 692-3717 for a free case evaluation.
Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano, LLP has 11 locations across the five boroughs, southern New York, and Long Island. Visit http://www.workerslaw.com.
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