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8 Deadly Construction Accidents in 2023

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

The construction industry, known for its vital role in building the infrastructure of our society, unfortunately, also bears a significant risk of workplace accidents. In 2023, this risk was brought to the forefront with a series of tragic incidents on construction sites across the country. J&Y Law Firm, a leading legal advocate based in California, presents an in-depth analysis of the several of the deadliest construction accidents that occurred this year. Our aim is to shed light on the circumstances surrounding these events, the impact on the workers and their families, and the broader implications for workplace safety and regulation.

At J&Y Law Firm, we believe that understanding these accidents is crucial in preventing future tragedies and ensuring the safety of construction workers. This article not only chronicles these devastating incidents but also serves as a call to action for stricter safety protocols and enforcement in the construction industry. As legal professionals who have long represented individuals affected by workplace accidents, we offer our expertise and insights into these matters with the hope of fostering a safer working environment for all. Join us as we explore these incidents and the lessons they impart for enhancing safety in one of the most critical sectors of our economy.

Ohio construction worker killed in accident

(source) October 4, 2023 Columbus, Ohio – An investigation is underway after a construction worker died Wednesday morning after suffering an apparent injury at a work site in German Village in Columbus.

The Columbus Division of Fire got a call around 10:50 a.m. for a reported injury near Jaeger and East Kossuth streets. The worker was taken to OhioHealth Grant Medical Center where they died.

It was not immediately clear what type of injuries the worker suffered or how they occurred.

Although signs around the project site Wednesday stated Corna-Kokosing is managing the construction project, the company is now known as the CK Construction Group.

In a statement, CK Construction said the employee who died worked for a subcontractor. “We are deeply saddened by the loss,” the statement said. “All those who are involved are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate this tragic accident.”

Wisconsin construction worker killed by water pipe cap 

(source) September 15, 2023 Pleasant Prairie, WI – Authorities in Wisconsin say a man has died after getting seriously injured while working at a construction site. The Pleasant Prairie Police Department reports that first responders were called to a road construction site on Sheridan Road Wednesday afternoon.

The department said it was reported that a worker at the site suffered serious injuries.

According to investigators, the worker, later identified as 34-year-old Cody Nelson, died at the scene from the injuries he sustained.

“The Pleasant Prairie Police Department extends its condolences to the co-workers and family affected by this tragic event,” the department shared. According to reports, Nelson was working on a new section of the water main pipe that had been capped off about two months prior. When he went to remove the cap to continue working on the pipe, the pressure of the water blew the cap off, hitting and killing him.

TMJ4 reports that Nelson leaves behind a wife and two kids. A GoFundMe has since been started “In loving memory of Cody Nelson” to help with memorial costs and to support his family.

Organizer Kalianne Morrison wrote, “Cody departed this world far too soon, leaving behind a profound void in the lives of his family and friends.”

Nelson’s loved ones thanked everyone for the support they have already received. “The outpouring witnessed over social media is tremendous,” Morrison shared. “Cody’s remarkable ability to uplift others was a testament to his character. He spread kindness and positivity, a legacy we should all strive to uphold in his memory.”

Police said the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been contacted to investigate the accident.

One Dead, Three Injured in Manhattan Building Collapse

(source) March 7, 2023 New York City, NY –  As a three-story building in lower Manhattan was being demolished, a back wall collapsed, killing one worker and injuring three others. The worker who died was trapped under falling rubble, while the three injured workers were thrown off a scaffolding as the wall collapsed. 

An initial review of the accident concluded that a second-story support beam was overloaded and collapsed, causing the wall and rubble to fall to the first floor. The Department of Buildings said the project had five recent safety violations, according to NBC4 New York, and a previous partial stop worker order had been issued. But the violations had been corrected and work continued. A full stop work order has now been issued for the building.  

This incident was New York’s first construction death of 2023. Eleven workers were killed in construction accidents in 2022, according to CBS News New York. 

Georgia construction worker dies after fall at megasite

a building under construction in heavy fog

(source) May. 2, 2023 Bryan County, GA –  A construction worker has died after falling at the Bryan County megasite over the weekend. Hyundai is describing this as a workplace accident that happened on Saturday morning.

Bryan County’s deputy coroner says a 35-year-old man died after falling from a structure of what will be the paint shop at the electric vehicle plant. The paint shop was one of the first buildings to go vertical at the site following the plant’s groundbreaking back in October. The man has been identified as Victor Javier Cajija Gamboa, of Statesboro.

The company said Gamboa’s safety harness lanyard failed resulting in the fall. The coroner’s office said he fell from 60 feet. Economic officials confirm that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating.

Below is a statement from Hyundai Motor Group:

“Hyundai Motor Group is deeply saddened that a subcontractor died on April 29, 2023, as a result of injuries sustained in a workplace accident at the construction site of its Metaplant America manufacturing facility in Bryan County, Georgia. The safety and security of everyone in our facility and at the construction site is our highest priority and we have full commitment to following Occupational Industrial Safety and Health policies.

The individual fell from a three-story paint shop structure. Initial information indicates the individual’s safety harness lanyard failed. Together with the contractor and the relevant authorities, we are fully supporting the investigation to understand the full circumstances of the incident to ensure this type of accident does not reoccur.

We express our deepest condolences to the individual’s family, friends and coworkers.”

Below is a statement from the Joint Development Authority:

“The Savannah Harbor Interstate 16 Corridor Joint Development Authority offers its condolences to the family, friends and coworkers of the subcontractor who died on April 29 at the construction site for Hyundai Motor Group Metaplant America. The employee was employed by a subcontractor on the site.

Hyundai Motor Group’s, Hyundai Engineering America’s, and the subcontractor’s primary concern has been and will continue to be the safety and security of everyone on the construction site. They are fully cooperating with the investigation.”

Construction worker injured in fall at Midtown, NY work site

(source) November 28, 2023 Midtown, NY – A construction worker was injured after falling from scaffolding Tuesday morning, officials said. At about 8:50 a.m., first responders rushed to 489 Fifth Ave., a 34-story building undergoing façade replacement, just opposite the New York Public Library, after receiving a report of a construction accident, according to the FDNY. A worker was found lying on the second level of scaffolding above the sidewalk shed and said he had hurt his back, according to Buildings Department inspectors.

Buildings officials could not confirm how the worker fell, but an initial complaint filed with the department says that the worker fell two levels onto the pipe scaffold platform.

The worker was brought to Bellevue Hospital in stable condition to receive treatment for bruising and back pain, officials said.

Buildings Department inspectors issued two summons to the building owner for not maintaining both the scaffolding and the deck of the sidewalk shed.

Construction workers injured at site for new UChicago Medicine cancer center

(source) December 14, 2023 Chicago, IL – Two construction workers were hurt while working on a new cancer care and research center at the University of Chicago medical Center. In a statement Thursday afternoon, Turner Construction Company said a piece of equipment failed at the site, and the two workers who were hurt were taken to a hospital “for evaluation and care.” The company was not more specific about the equipment that failed.

Several emergency crews were spotted at the scene Thursday afternoon. “We work extremely hard to avoid days like this and our thoughts are with the individuals involved, their family members, and colleagues,” Turner Construction said in a statement. “A thorough investigation is underway and work is paused at this time.”

The seven-story, 575,000 square-foot cancer care and research pavilion is being built on 57th Street between Maryland and Drexel avenues on the University of Chicago Medical Center campus. On Wednesday, the university announced a $20 million grant for the very construction project the workers were working on.

Massachusetts construction worker injured by falling wall

(source) November 14, 2023 Falmouth, MA – A worker was seriously injured when a wall fell and hit him at a construction site in Falmouth, Massachusetts, on Tuesday morning. The Falmouth Fire Department said they responded to a construction site at 213 North Falmouth Highway around 11:15 a.m. Tuesday. 

They said a side-wall on the second floor of a home under construction was being raised when it reportedly came down and briefly pinned the worker. Other workers were able to remove him from beneath the structure before the fire department arrived.

The worker suffered “traumatic non-life-threatening injuries,” and had to be removed from the second floor of the building by rescue personnel, fire officials said. He was taken by ambulance to a landing zone at Falmouth Hospital and then flown by medical helicopter to the Rhode Island Hospital Trauma Center in Providence. His name was not released and no update on his condition was immediately available.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Falmouth police are investigating the incident. No further details were released.

Florida construction worker struck by DUI driver in coma

an injured construction worker in the hospital after being hit by a DUI driver

(source) October 9, 2023 Fort Myers, FL – The Fort Myers Police Department are investigating a car crash involving a construction worker early Monday morning. FMPD reports that the crash happened on U.S. 41 at the intersection of Winkler Avenue and Cleveland Avenue at around 2:30 a.m. where 42-year-old Michel Capdevilla was hit while working to repave a section of a roadway. 

When local news arrived at the scene, the front part of a white SUV was smashed and was later towed away. FMPD is reporting the construction worker and driver were transported to a hospital and that the driver was impaired before the crash. The construction worker was an A-Jax Paving employee.

Initially, police did not arrest the DUI suspect due to both men being hospitalized. 2 weeks later, the man accused of hitting the construction worker turned himself in. Fort Myers police say 32-year-old Montey Tyler Stahl was the one responsible. Capdevilla’s family has been frustrated that no arrest was made. They’ve explained that Capdevilla is a father of two young children, and he’s been in the ICU in a coma due to his injuries.

Fort Myers police said Stahl had just left the strip club and was nearly four times the legal limit when he crashed his SUV into Capdevilla. His blood alcohol level was 0.313. Police said Stahl was unconscious when they arrived, and when he regained consciousness, his speech was slurred, and his eyes were red. He’s now facing charges of DUI involving serious bodily injuries.

Capdevilla was left in serious condition. His head, right arm and torso were lodged between the door and the bed of the truck. Recently, his family sent a statement that reads, in part, “Montey Stahl made a decision that cost our loved one to be where he is now. Although he is still here via life support, he is in critical condition with life-threatening injuries and will never be the same. His wife and young kids will never be the same.” According to medical professionals, Capdevilla suffered a traumatic brain injury from this crash.

Call a California construction accident lawyer today

As we reflect on the tragic incidents highlighted in our article “8 Deadly Construction Accidents in 2023,” it becomes increasingly clear that the construction industry, while essential, is fraught with hazards that can lead to devastating outcomes. These incidents serve as a stark reminder of the critical importance of adhering to safety protocols and regulations to protect workers from harm.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident, it’s important to know that you are not alone and that there are resources available to help you navigate the aftermath. The J&Y Law Firm in Los Angeles, CA, specializes in representing individuals who have suffered due to accidents on construction sites. Our experienced legal team is dedicated to advocating for the rights and well-being of injured workers, ensuring that they receive the compensation and support necessary for their recovery.

We understand the physical, emotional, and financial toll that a construction accident can take on victims and their families. That’s why we offer a free consultation to discuss your case and explore the best course of action tailored to your unique situation. You can reach us at (323) 202-2305 to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can assist you during this challenging time.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.