Man Severely Injured in Crane Collapse to Sue City for $20 Million

The 15-story construction crane plummeted onto the New York City street in a snow squall

A man crushed by a crane with a 565-foot boom that plunged onto a lower Manhattan street last month plans to sue the New York City for $20 million, according to a lawsuit filed Friday.

Thomas O'Brien, of Massachusetts, was taking his daughter to a doctor's appointment on Worth Street on Feb. 5 when the crane toppled over and hit the car he was sitting in, according to the suit.

O'Brien suffered a compression fracture of the spine, a severe cut to the head and traumatic brain injury, among other injuries, the suit states.

O'Brien's suit says the city is at least partially responsible for a number of reasons, inculding because they failed to place signs to warn about potential danger, failed to barricade streets and failed to hire competent personnel.

He is seeking $20 million for person injuries, pain and suffering, medical expenses and lost earnings.

The city's law department said it is looking into the claims. The city Department of Buildings said that the cause of the crane collapse continues to be under investigation and that the city has some of the most robust crane and construction regulations in the country. 

The 15-story construction crane was being lowered in a snow squall when it plummeted onto the street, killing a man and hurting O'Brien and two others.

The crane, owned by Bay Crane, smashed into several buildings on the way down before crashing onto several parked cars stretched over two blocks. Video of the collapse shot from a high rise nearby showed the crane's boom come crashing down.

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