Trade unions, contractors call for maximum penalty in construction worker death case

‘Sick and tired’ of lawbreaking contractors defining public perception.

July 15, 2016 |

Construction in New York City. Photo: Jeffrey Zeldman/Creative Commons.

Twenty-two New York City-area groups including trade unions, the District Attorney's office and general contractor representatives, have asked the judge in a case concerning a construction worker’s death to impose the maximum penalty on the contractor.

Harco Construction was found guilty of manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, and reckless endangerment in the death of Carlos Moncayo. The 22-year-old worker died when an improperly shored-up excavation collapsed at one of the company's job sites.

The Manhattan district attorney is seeking a $35,000 fine and for Harco to pay for a worker safety print and TV campaign in English and Spanish. Representatives from an organization of New York union construction managers and contractors, the Building Trade Employers' Association, said they were "sick and tired" of lawbreaking construction companies "defining the public perception of how serious and important public and worker safety is to them," according to DNA Info.

Harco's attorneys had argued that the company could not be held accountable because they had no direct employees on the site other than a superintendent, and they could not fire the employees of the subcontractor responsible for the excavation, DNA Info reported.

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