A retaining wall serves one purpose, but it is a very important purpose. Retaining walls are engineered and built to hold back thousands of pounds of earth, stone, or other materials. These safety structures are used in a variety of circumstances, whether at roadside or in homes or around commercials structures.
The collapse of a retaining wall on September 12th, 2018 is drawing attention to these important but often unnoticed structures. Workers at a construction site in Sunset Park were digging deep into the ground when a nearby retaining wall collapsed. Though most of the workers were able to scramble to safety, one 47 year old worker was trapped and killed.
Due to the weather effects of Hurricane Florence, it took a week for a recovery effort to locate the body. An investigation is still forthcoming, and a large focus of that investigation should be on the history of the retaining wall. Older walls were often designed and produced under less stringent engineering standards, and construction firms should be aware that existing construction might not hold up, particularly after years of weather.
If the wall was newly designed and constructed, it will be important to determine whether or not the problem was in the design or in the construction. A faulty design is destined to fail regardless of how it was built, but even the best design is prone to fall apart if shoddy materials are used or corners are cut during construction.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a construction accident, ensuring a full investigation takes place is important. All too often these incidents occur because contractors are not taking proper safety precautions. Please, consult with an experienced attorney regarding your case, and make sure that everything that could be done to prevent the accident was done.