Pedestrian injured by runaway construction equipment in Manhattan

Sakkas Cahn & Weiss

The phrase “only in New York” is used quite often by those who live here, usually in response to a completely unexpected event. This city is alive and active in a way that few other cities can boast. Sometimes this is a good thing. Other times, not so much.

As just one example, consider the following scenario. You are strolling along a sidewalk in Manhattan. The only thing interfering with the beautiful spring atmosphere is the sound of some maintenance work being done by a construction crew. Suddenly, screams fill the air and you see a giant saw blade rolling toward you at high speeds. This may sound like a scene from a bad horror movie, but it actually happened right here in NYC earlier this week.

A woman was struck by a saw blade in what has to be one of the city’s most bizarre pedestrian accidents in recent memory. The construction crew responsible for the runaway blade was tearing up the roadway in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood in order to do repair work on a water main. The 3-foot blade from the buzz saw somehow detached and began rolling at high speeds down the sidewalk.

Many pedestrians were able to get out of the blade’s path, but it traveled about 100 feet before hitting a woman in the leg. According to another news source, the woman suffered cuts to her leg but her injuries were considered minor.

This is certainly not the first time that someone has been injured while walking past an NYC construction site and it won’t be the last. These types of accidents are usually grounds for a premises liability lawsuit. Depending on the details of the case, liability could rest with the construction company, the city or some combination of the two.

Source: NBC New York, “Pedestrian Hit by Flying Buzzsaw in Midtown Manhattan,” May 28, 2014

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