On October 12, a portion of a new Hard Rock Hotel under construction in New Orleans collapsed, killing three construction workers and injuring dozens more, and wreaking chaos in the city that has left family members of the victims searching for answers. Multiple investigations are under way to determine who was at fault. Cases like this showcase how important it is to know who to call when a tragedy occurs, and that is why the attorneys at Altman & Altman LLP are available around the clock to help.
The construction of a new building can be exciting, especially a large building in the middle of a downtown area – which brings with it the promise of new commerce and attraction, and will ideally bring about more tourism and financial incentives into the community.
However, when construction contractors, architectural engineering firms or others involved in the building process cut corners or fail to perform their duties in a responsible manner that treats safety as a top priority, people can be seriously hurt or killed. Additionally, in cases like this one, businesses around the collapsed property are affected as well – as many were forced to shut down for days and even weeks as a safety precaution while the building was secured.
What this event has amounted to is pain and suffering born by the families of the victims who have perished, pain and suffering born by those injured in the incident and financial damage to businesses that have had to close due to the building collapse – and for these damages, the liable party or parties may rightfully be held accountable.
This past week, loved ones of the deceased construction workers have already filed suit against developers responsible for overseeing the project on the grounds of pain and suffering due to their relatives’ wrongful deaths. Some of those filing suit had to suffer the added burden of their loved ones being listed as missing prior to being announced dead, and then having to witness them pull their deceased loved ones from the wreckage – adding more trauma to an already horrible situation.
As with all ongoing investigations, it is not known at the time what ultimately led to the collapse. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is looking into the incident to find out if there were any apparent worker safety issues that contributed to deaths or injuries and if the contractors or developers failed to adhere to certain safety protocols.
There is apparently video posted from construction workers on social media that showed portions of the build that looked weak and unstable, with one worker even commenting in Spanish on one of the videos about the shoddy design and of the new construction and how it was unsafe. Videos like that, along with testimony of construction workers who were firsthand witnesses to the building process will be crucial in assessing whether or not safety standards were ignored. Continue reading