New York City Enacts Civil Penalties for Deadly, Dangerous Safety Violations

By Renee Sosnowski


On January 19, 2018, the New York City Council enacted Local Law 70 of 2018, which continues the crackdown on construction site safety. The legislation amends the administrative code to allow the city to recover up to $500,000 for safety violations at construction sites that lead to death or serious physical injury.

An “immediately hazardous violation” of chapter 33 of the New York city building code that results in death or serious injury will be punishable by the following civil penalties:

  • Maximum of $500,000 for violations issued against corporations or
  • Maximum of $150,000 for violations issued to individuals

The city may recover these penalties in a civil action if 1) there was a substantial probability that the violating condition would cause death or serious industry and 2) the defendant knew, or should have known with reasonable diligence, of the violation and was in a position to correct or mitigate the condition.

In determining the specific amount of the civil penalty, the law requires the court to consider the following factors:

  • Extent and severity of injury
  • Defendant’s history of violations
  • Degree of willfulness or negligence shown by the defendant
  • Defendant’s financial resources

The law goes into effect in July 2018, 180 days after its enactment.

More information about Local Law 70 of 2018 and its exemption criteria is available online.

If you have questions about this or other issues concerning violations, contact Metropolis Group at 212.233.6344.