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Scaffolding Collapse Bring $50 Million Lawsuit

A Brooklyn woman injured in the construction accident in SoHo is suing the contractors and building owner

A former model that was partially trapped beneath collapsed scaffolding in SoHo, NY has filed a $50 million lawsuit against multiple parties.

Katherine Lefavre, 33, of Brooklyn, claims she suffered multiple injuries when heavy wind gusts caused scaffolding and other debris to collapse. The Nov. 19 construction accident happened near the intersection of Broadway and Prince Street in SoHo. The lawsuit filed by Lefavre on Dec. 19 is seeking to recover $50 million against various contractors connected to the scaffolding at 568 Broadway.

The lawsuit says that Lefavre was walking near the corner of Broadway and Prince Street on Nov. 19 when a heavy gust of wind toppled a sidewalk shed and some of the connected scaffolding. Lefavre was struck by the debris and knocked to the ground "where she became trapped and buried under the debris,'' according to her lawsuit.

As a result of the construction accident, Lefavre suffered multiple injuries, including spinal fractures, head trauma and cuts, as well as injuries to her legs, the suit claims. She asserts her injuries required an extended hospital stay and surgery.

City inspectors, following the partial collapse of the scaffolding, citing that the structure "did not meet building safety code standards", issued a stop work order. A second inspection conducted in December allowed work on the site to move forward after the scaffolding was determined to be safe.

In an interview with the New York Post, the first to report on the story, Lefavre's attorney Susan Karten said, "New Yorkers are constantly walking under scaffolding, and they are entitled to feel safe when they do."

The owner of the building at 568 Broadway, the scaffolding provider, Rocker Group and the company handling the renovation, are all named as defendants in the lawsuit.

How Common Are Pedestrian Construction Accidents?

Construction sites pose many hazards to its workers, including falling objects. Loose debris, open trenches and collapse. This danger is not limited only to workers on the site. The dangers are also very real for pedestrian and bystanders who may need to travel near construction sites to reach their destinations. In the United States over 100 pedestrians are killed each year by accidents occurring near construction sites. In addition, countless more are seriously injured. Falling objects account for the greatest number of these injuries and fatalities. These accidents are almost always the result of negligence. The fact that some construction projects will inevitably take place in densely populated areas requires every construction project by law to safeguard pedestrians and bystanders against injury.

Negligence at a construction site may lead to injuries. The construction workers, contractor, subcontractor and property owner all share the responsibility that all pedestrians and bystander are not in danger. Signs to warn of the construction should be present and fencing should be erected to prevent pedestrians from entering hazardous areas. Pedestrians must be able to walk safely around heavy machinery and materials. Failure to follow these guidelines may be evidence of negligence and can expose the construction site to liability for injuries to pedestrians and bystanders.

If you have been injured near a construction project due to falling material, construction machinery, loose debris, collapsed scaffolding, broken or missing pavement or any other on-site accident you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact a construction accident attorney at Vititoe Law Group for a free consultation. You pay nothing unless we recover.

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