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Construction Mishap Raises Legal Questions About Freak Accidents

A woman was simply trying to get a workout at an Upper East Side fitness center last week. Instead, she was taken to the hospital after a freak accident.

The victim was stretching on a mat when a 10-pound drill bit came crashing through the double-paned window at the Asphalt Green fitness center. Sharp glass rained down on the woman, cutting her head, hand and leg. The drill bit narrowly missed striking her body.

The piece of equipment was launched approximately 50 feet from a construction site. The drill bit went airborne after a backhoe operator dropped a manhole drum, causing the drill bit to launch.

In bizarre, falling object accidents like this, injury victims are often confused about who is responsible and what types of damages are recoverable.

In the Asphalt Green accident, it is clear that there was negligence at the construction site. However, multiple parties are often on construction sites – such as contractors and subcontractors – and they may share blame for the accident.

Without knowing further details, it does not appear that the fitness center had any wrongdoing, unless they were supposed to close their business due to the danger of nearby construction – an unlikely scenario. Contrarily, Asphalt Green probably has a claim against the construction company, too, for damaging the window and disrupting its business.

As far as damages go, the injured woman needs to be compensated for her medical bills, physical injuries and the ways they impact her life. If her injuries force her to miss work she may be able to recover additional damages. Further, there may be psychological trauma accompanying her physical injuries.

Source: New York Post, “Gym-Goer Injured After Drill Bit Crashes Through Glass Window,” Danika Fears, July 9, 2014

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