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51st Street Crane Collapse - Affiliated Adjustment Group - United States

51st Street Crane Collapse

On Saturday, March 15, 2008, a crane towering over a high-rise construction site on Manhattan’s East Side collapsed across a city block onto an adjacent apartment building.

A disastrous disruption to city residents, it slashed down on an apartment building, broke into sections, crushed a townhouse, and cut a swath through the tenement façade killing four in its wake.


Case Details

The adjacent 19 story apartment building housed a cumulative 115 rental apartments and commercial tenants. Extensive roof and façade damage left residents’ apartments open to the inclement weather patterns usual to New York at the end of winter. Major structural damage to the street forced tenants to evacuate for an extended period of time as they racked up ancillary living expenses. AAG was hired to represent the building owner in the claim and to help the street re-open so that residents and business owners could return.

Emergent Concerns

Increasing numbers of tenants who were frightened the street wasn’t safe became fearful that lease agreements with the building owner could be terminated. The building owner faced both resident concerns and the process of complying with NYC agencies and OEM (Office of Emergency Management).


AAG brought in building experts to quickly and accurately assess all building damages. After seven meetings AAG was able to get the building’s insurance company to agree to a damage estimate, which addressed both temporary and permanent repairs. NYC required repairs to coincide with current building codes, a hurdle AAG also helped the client overcome. Further, AAG accountants prepared a claim to compensate the client for loss of rental income.


AAG made sure the building was repaired more quickly than anticipated, marking a seamless transition for the tenants’ return. AAG successfully received all rental income lost on behalf of the client.

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