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Who's Responsible for Construction Accidents?

A construction accident at 45 Stuart Street left three people injured after a partial building collapse.

The twelfth floor of a 33-story building under construction collapsed down to the fifth floor, according to Boston's WBZ-TV.

If the injured construction workers file personal injury lawsuits, who may be responsible for the construction accident damages?

    • Construction employees. Depending on the cause of the accident, one of the injured workers' colleagues could be liable for their injuries. Under negligence laws, construction workers have a duty to exercise reasonable care when doing their work. If they breach that duty of care and a co-worker gets injured as a result, then they can be liable for damages.
    • Construction company. Similar to construction employees, general contractors and sub-contractors must provide a reasonably safe construction site for workers. Further, they also have a legal duty to warn of any defects or hazards at the site. General contractors also must exercise care in hiring reasonably competent employees and maintaining compliance with safety regulations.
    • The city of Boston. It's unclear whether the city of Boston is the landowner of the construction site, even if it is, it may be difficult to sue them for the construction accident. This is because landowners aren't usually considered legal possessors of the land during the construction project if a large amount of control over the land is given to the general contractor. Plus, to sue the government, you usually need "permission" to do so and must file a "notice of claim" before you can initiate a lawsuit.
    • Building materials manufacturers. If the construction accident occurred because of faulty building materials, the manufacturers could be responsible. In general, products sold on the market must be safe to use. So if the building materials have unexpected or dangerous defects, manufacturers could be liable for any damage caused by their products.

    According to WBZ-TV, the real estate company AvalonBay is in charge of the project.

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