Ithaca Voice photo of the scene of man’s fall.

A construction worker was injured Monday night in Ithaca when he fell from the roof of a five-story building into a Dumpster filled with construction debris in the street below.

Ithaca police have not released any information about the condition of the 37-year-old man, who fell about 50 feet into the Dumpster at 709 Court St. shortly after 5 p.m. on Dec. 14, according to a news report.

Emergency workers secured the man with a cervical collar and placed him on a back board, and also placed a splint on an injured arm before he was transported to the closest trauma center, Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA. He was transported by ambulance because weather conditions prevented a helicopter from landing in Ithaca.

The investigation into the incident continues and it is unclear if weather played a role in the fall, police said. Witnesses said the man, who was wearing fall protection, had just unbuckled from his protection in anticipation of going home when he fell.

There is a very interesting NY law that says it is the obligation of the general contractor AND the building owner to ensure that there is a fall protection system in place to protect workers who are working at height.  If a worker falls, this law imposes absolute liability on the general contractor and owner. The law is generically referred to as the NY Labor Law and was enacted to ensure that workers who are required to work at dangerous heights, are provided with the necessary safety equipment to protect them.

If you know a worker who was injured while working at height (or from a falling object from a height), it is important to let them know that they should talk to an experienced injury lawyer as they may have a right to compensation under the NY Labor Law.  I know from more than 34 years of handling these construction injury cases, performing a prompt and thorough investigation of the circumstances surrounding the fall is the key to success.

Thank you for reading,


Jim Reed
Managing Partner
Best Lawyers’ “2015 & 2017 & 2019 Lawyer of the Year”

NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
Toll-Free: 800-ZIFFLAW (943-3529)
Blogs: and