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Fatal construction fall underlies lawsuit

| Sep 7, 2017 | Construction Workers' Accidents |

Shortcuts on San Diego worksites can sometimes lead to fatal construction accidents. The wife of a construction worker who fell 76 feet from a weaken platform last November has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the general construction contractor, to subcontractors and the property owner.

She charged that her 34-year-old husband was employed as a construction worker by one of the defendants who was hired for rebar and iron reinforcements for the concrete structure on Wolfe Road in Sunnyvale. His wife claims that he arrived on the site at 5:00 am on the day of the accident.

He was assigned to trim rebar and cables as preparation for concrete work. He began to walk onto a plywood platform to reach rebar cables.

But, the platform collapsed. Several other workers heard him scream as he fell from the sixth story of the building. At 7:51 am, he was found alive on the ground. Unfortunately, he was pronounced dead 11 minute later.

According to an OSHA incident report, the removal of supports under the platform caused this collapse. The plaintiff claimed that OSHA found that one of the defendants’ employees removed the supports to save money.

His wife began receiving phone calls from other workers telling her that there was an accident. She tried calling him four times and was placed on hold while calling his employer. After reviewing its website, she traveled to the construction site. After arriving on the site and four hours after the accident, a company employee informed her that her husband died.

The victim was father of children ages, six, four and one. The family set up a fund to raise $11,000 for funeral costs, but ended up receiving $82,013 from 639 donors.

Last month, she filed a lawsuit in Santa Clara County Superior Court. She sought damages for wrongful death, emotional distress, negligent survival and premises liability.

Victims of a construction accident and their families may be entitled to compensation where the accident was caused by negligence or defective equipment. An attorney can help them pursue this right in court or in settlement negotiations.

Source: The Mercury News, “Widow files wrongful death suit in fatal construction fall in Sunnyvale,” Victoria Kezra, Sept. 1, 2017

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