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Department of Buildings Violation Dismissed Against Forklift Company After Fatal Accident

Case Study

Department of Buildings Violation Dismissed Against Forklift Company After Fatal Accident

October 6, 2020

In a hearing against the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings dismissed an aggravated Class-1 (“immediately hazardous”) violation against a Long Island-based forklift company in a worker-fatality suit.

In this matter, a forklift mechanism was installed into a building in Queens, New York to move products from the basement to a restaurant above. The forklift company performed repairs and maintenance to the subject equipment. During the course of its use, the lift platform fatally crushed a restaurant employee. The DOB issued a citation to the forklift company for failure to maintain the equipment, and for allowing an illegal device to exist on the premises.

The DOB prosecuted this case to the fullest extent during the hearing because all charges against the building owner had been dismissed on a technicality. The DOB argued that the forklift corporation was not a licensed elevator mechanic and as a result should not have been working on this allegedly illegal equipment.

At the administrative hearing, Goldberg Segalla attorney Stefan A. Borovina established that licensure was irrelevant because the company did not have any legal or equitable interest in either the premises or the equipment as required by the NYC Building Code. The administrative hearing officer agreed with Stefan’s arguments and dismissed the violation.




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