The estate of Javier Salinas, a construction worker who fell more than 50 feet to his death at the Chelsea Piers construction site in Stamford, Conn., has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the man’s employers. Ashford Properties Construction Inc., and its parent company, the Ashford Company Inc.; Merritt Contractors Inc.; Stamford Exit 9 LLC; Chelsea Piers Connecticut LLC; American Building Group Inc.; and American Building Group LLC are all named as Defendants in the suit.
Filed in state Superior Court in Bridgeport on behalf of Salinas’ widow, the suit contends that the contractors are responsible for the workers’ death because they allowed him to scale a roof of the Chelsea Piers sports complex without a safety harness. The worker fell to his death after a gust of wind blew him off the edge. He was working for American Buildings, a Trumbull contractor working for AP Construction, and was installing sheeting on the roof when he fell.
The site is at the former Clairol campus. In March 2010, a partnership between a Norwalk real estate company and the Connecticut Film Center bought the 32.68-acre campus from Clairol for about $16.75 million. Chelsea Piers leased a portion of the site last year and announced plans to build a complex similar to the sports facilities along the Hudson River in Manhattan.
In early December, about 50 workers protested against AP Construction, claiming the construction company should be held accountable for hiring subcontractors who don’t cover worker’s compensation benefits and sacrifice safety in exchange for cost savings. A stop-work order was issued by the state Department of Labor against the Trumbull subcontractor, American Building Group and two other construction companies, and federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials are investigating the death.
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