Articles Posted in Construction Law

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Residential construction permits in the city are up by an encouraging 33 percent, though along with that comes the greater potential for a Great Neck construction accident.

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As our Great Neck construction law attorneys understand it, that’s at least partially why regional administrators for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are extending their fall protection directive for those involved in residential construction.

The directive is essentially the agency’s effort to address the serious risks associated with falls during the course of residential construction. That means the agency is making compliance a top priority for companies working on residential construction projects. It is sending out inspectors to ensure that all the proper protections are in place, and is also handing out related reading materials on what type of citations and penalties these bosses face if they do not comply with the law. It also offered these employers 30 days to address any blatant fall issues.

Originally, this directive was supposed to last six months, wrapping up in the middle of this month. Apparently, however, the agency identified a need to continue this awareness initiative, which it is now extending through December.

As OSHA has identified, falls on residential construction sites have been a problem in Great Neck, New York City and elsewhere.

OSHA reports that in 2010, there were 635 fatal falls at construction sites in the U.S. There were 645 the year before. At the record highest, there were 847 in 2007.

While the number of accidents has declined since the beginning of the economic downturn, they are bound to rise again with the economic rebound that is manifesting itself in the growing number of residential construction projects, as reported by Crain’s New York.

In fact, according to the city’s buildings’ department, there were almost 9,000 permits issued for residential building projects last year, a significant rise from little more than 6,700 the prior year.

Of those projects, the majority – 32 percent – were permits pulled in Queens. Another 22 percent were pulled in Manhattan, 21 percent in Brooklyn, 17 percent in the Bronx and 8 percent in Staten Island.

Crain’s reports that the majority of the residences being built are five units or more, showing that smaller companies are still having a difficult time getting project funding.

Yet that is no reason for any employer to skimp on safety standards on the job site. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that residential construction site falls are often due to improper ladder use. Here are some tips to help avoid this specific type of residential construction fall in Great Neck:

-Make sure you have chosen the correct ladder for the job. Check to make sure that it is in fact a ladder you need, as opposed to a mechanical lift or scaffolding.

-Ask yourself whether the ladder is long enough and whether it is in good working condition.

-Secure the bottom and top of the ladder to fixed points. It only takes a few minutes, but it can mean the difference between a serious fall and returning home without injury.

-When you climb up the ladder, make sure you aren’t carrying tools or anything else in your hands, which should be used solely to ascend and descend. Put tools or other needed items on your tool belt.
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Victims of Nicholas Cosmo, the Long Island Ponzi schemer, are now being asked by courts to return money they withdrew just before the scheme collapsed, outraging many investors, Fox News reports.

In the best of times, investments can be uncertain, but especially in these tough economy times. But what the Great Recession has done is exposed the many financial schemes that investment specialists have concocted to rip off people and strip them of their hard-earned savings. Investment Lawyers are prepared to represent anyone who has been ripped off by investment firms and people who make false claims about money-making schemes.
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Cosmo pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud in 2010 as part of a $413 million Ponzi scheme through his company, Agape World Inc. in Hauppauge. He was also convicted of mail fraud in 1999 and allegedly used more than $200,000 from Agape to pay for restitution in that case. He faces up to 40 years in prison.

A Ponzi scheme occurs when an investment group finds investors to give them money, usually promising outrageous returns on their contributions. The scheme pays early investors with money from the new investors and eventually is doomed to collapse because it is unable to sustain those kinds of payouts. Typically, the people running the investment take money for themselves, while ripping off the investors. The term was named after Charles Ponzi, who used the technique in 1920.

Fox News reports that because there are federal bankruptcy court lawsuits pending, investors are being ordered by judges to return money they withdrew from the investment scheme, even if they thought it was interest and used it to pay bills or make other purchases. Some people interviewed said they lost tens of thousands of dollars and are now being ordered to pay back even more money. The law is designed to prevent investors from getting preferential treatment if they withdrew money 90 days before a scheme collapses.

Investment brokers, fund managers and other workers who have the power to control people’s money are always facing criticism when an investment idea goes south. It’s possible that allegations of securities fraud and other wrongdoings can threaten the health of a business or company.

While our firm represents victims in cases like this, we are also well-equipped and have experience defending companies accused of wrongdoing. While there have definitely been many examples of high-profile investment and financially based schemes, there are also empty allegations made every day because the Great Recession has trampled on people’s savings and caused them great harm.

Sometimes it isn’t fraud, but simply an economic downturn that makes an investment go south. So, if you are either a victim of fraud or an investment manager who has been falsely accused, either with criminal charges or civil lawsuits, consult with our firm immediately. We will study the records, subpoena information and work to sort out all the facts.
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A case involving a New York village, a Jewish congregation and federal prosecutors resulted in the village changing its zoning code, The Wall Street Journal reported recently.

This is a situation where, despite federal government intervention, a New York City construction and business law attorney should be consulted to resolve disputes with governmental agencies over zoning codes. Construction law is complex and can apply to many types of projects.
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In Airmont, which is 27 miles north of Manhattan, an Orthodox Jewish congregation wanted to build a school with student housing. The village’s code didn’t allow for student housing, but after the Justice Department filed a lawsuit six years ago, a recent settlement required village officials to amend its zoning laws. It agreed to pay a $10,000 fine, but didn’t admit any wrongdoing.

The News Journal reports this is the second case of federal intervention regarding zoning law issues with religious organizations since its 1991 incorporation. In the first case, the village was forced to accept neighborhood houses of worship in residential homes.

Construction is a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. And in New York City, Great Neck and elsewhere throughout the state, it is a high-stakes business that requires sound legal advice. Protection comes in the form of an experienced construction law attorney.

Consider some of the many construction-related issues construction law attorneys handle on a daily basis:

  • Industrial accidents
  • Compliance violations
  • Drafting and interpretation of contracts
  • Contract disputes/breach of contract
  • Fraud/misrepresentation by contractors

Equally important is having available a team of attorneys dedicated to New York business law. Disputes regarding contracts, leases, employment agreements and other issues may be just as critical to an operation’s success.

If your Long Island business is involved in construction, seek a capable law firm that focuses on these matters. Protect your business and hire attorneys with a reputation for providing clients with sound advice and counsel in tough times.
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