New York, NY – Today, the New York City Buildings Department (DOB) announced enforcement actions against engineer Daniel Odigie, who designed the sidewalk shed that collapsed last fall in SoHo, injuring five passersby. Odigie certified that the plans he submitted to DOB were safe and Code-compliant, when in actuality they were poorly designed. Accordingly, DOB sought and obtained the permanent surrender of Odigie’s ability to file sidewalk shed and other professionally-certified plans with the Department.
DOB’s review found that the plans Odigie submitted for the shed at 568 Broadway lacked required structural supports, among other deficiencies. DOB also found that the Rock Group, the contractor who installed the shed, failed to build it even to the shoddy standards laid out in Odigie’s plans. These factors, combined with a sustained period of high winds the day of the collapse, led to the failure of the sidewalk shed, pinning several pedestrians.
“This collapse was caused by sheer negligence by the engineer and contractor who put up the shed – a structure that’s meant to protect people, not harm them. Following this incident, we checked all the sheds where the engineer and contractor were involved and made sure they’re properly built. The penalties we issued to the engineer were well-warranted and we will take further enforcement actions against all parties involved, as needed, once our investigation is fully wrapped up,” said Buildings Commissioner Rick D. Chandler, PE.
As part of its investigation, DOB reviewed 47 other sheds that involved both Odigie and the Rock Group. DOB found one shed that posed an immediate safety hazard and ordered repairs that have since been completed. DOB issued an additional 73 violations for less-serious infractions.
Odigie surrendered his professional-certification privileges on January 16, 2018. DOB’s investigation of the collapse is ongoing and the agency expects to take additional enforcement actions in the coming weeks.