Roofer Sentenced After Relocating the Body of an Employee Who Was Dying

The workers’ compensation law was created to protect workers when they become injured or ill at work. It ensures they are covered at no charge to them, for lost wages, medical bills and permanent injuries resulting from work-related injuries. The coverage afforded by workers compensation is provided at the employer’s expense. Typically, they purchase an insurance policy that covers their workforce, although the law also allows employers to self-insure and directly cover the costs for their workers.

We were recently reminded of how vital this coverage is. The news recently reported the case of a construction business owner in Gloversville NY who plead guilty to a felony. He admitted that on May 12, 2023, he moved a semiconscious employee from his job site in Northhampton to the Batchellerville Bridge in Saratoga County. He then called 911 and said the man had fallen off the bridge. The man was airlifted to Albany Medical Center Hospital but died within days.

The employee was only 38 years old and had four children. He had worked with the roofing company on and off for approximately five years. The deceased worker had fallen off a roof at a worksite. Rather than call 911 at that time, the business owner directed his other employees to clean up all evidence of the accident. He then transported the injured worker to a new location and only then called emergency medical services for assistance.

The motivation behind this outrageous crime was that the business owner had not purchased workers’ compensation insurance for his employees. He therefore decided to cover up the accident to avoid liability. In addition to the felony, he also plead guilty to not having workers’ compensation insurance, which is a misdemeanor.

As we reflect on this terrible crime, it is important to understand how vital workers’ compensation coverage is for workers and their families. If you or a family member ever has questions or concerns about workers’ compensation, you should consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney immediately. And please, always try to be safe in the workplace!

Prepared By:  

David Stauber, Esq. Partner