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Construction Workers Death in Harlem Prompts Family to File Suit

The death of a construction worker at a Harlem construction site has forced his family to file a lawsuit. Juan Ruiz, age 69, was killed when a warehouse was being demolished as part of the renovation project occurring at Columbia University.

The warehouse demolition went awry, causing the building to collapse on top of Ruiz and subsequently killing him. The family of the victim had to go to the medical examiner’s office to identify the body of their beloved and now want answers as to who is accountable for the deadly accident.

To date, it is reported that Columbia University has already incurred more approximately 59 code violations on their construction site. The project itself has been stopped forcibly 13 times in the two years since it started.

During the workplace building collapse that claimed Ruiz’s life, two other workers were injured, including 60-year old King Range and 30 year old Sakim Kirby. Kirby was said to still be hospitalized but in stable condition at St. Luke’s Hospital. Kirby’s family has also hired an attorney but so far the family is only concerned about the injured worker’s health and said that legal decisions will be made at another time.

The victims in the collapse worked for the demolition company. The sustained injuries after piles of concrete collapsed on top of them, trapping all three men in the rubble until help could pull them out. Juan Ruiz was set to retire soon and his family, including his wife, grown children, and grandchildren want justice to be served publicly to prevent others from dying in similar incidents.

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