Connecticut has many older, obsolete buildings that are undergoing either extensive renovation or demolition. The workers on such jobs face unique risks because the work itself often weakens the structure. A recent accident in Stamford illustrates the nature of some of these risks.

A worker engaged in the renovation of a warehouse in west Stamford fell through a temporary skylight opening and later died from his injuries. The man was engaged in installing permanent coverings over several 4′ x 4′ skylights in the roof. Initial reports of the accident do not contain much information about its cause, but the comment of a police officer nevertheless gave a strong hint at a possible explanation. The officer also observed that, after looking at the scene of the accident, the temporary covering placed over the skylight was insufficient to support the victim’s weight. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the accident, but it has not disclosed any of its findings.

The worker’s family are entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits, and they may also be able to recover third party damages depending on who is determined to have been at fault for the mishap. If the skylight covering was set in place by the employee of an entity other than the decedent’s employer, that entity may be liable for the accident. Further investigation will be required to answer this important question.

Anyone who has suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to a construction site accident may wish to pursue workers’ compensation benefits and damages from any third party who may have been at fault for the accident. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be able to answer these questions and provide an estimate of the likelihood of recovering workers’ compensation benefits and third party damages.