For most people, the thought of construction accident injuries or work-related deaths conjures up images of falling objects, heavy machinery mishaps, trench collapses or even exposure to toxic chemicals. However, a tragic accident this past autumn demonstrates that these are not the only risk of serious or fatal injuries facing construction workers.
Back on September 15, Bryan B., was working at the construction site of the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, when a lightning storm was approaching. Sadly, Bryan B., who was reported to have expressed reservations about working in such conditions, was killed when a lightning bolt struck the 800-foot tall tower located near where he was working.
Now, Bryan B.'s widow, Carmen, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against both Tishman Construction and Network Construction Company, arguing that the companies should have halted work at the Revel construction site when the lightning storm was approaching.
"Their decision robbed me of my husband and closest friend, robbed my children of a father who loved them passionately and robbed Bryan of his life," said Carmen B. at a recent press conference. "It is a devastating reality and more devastating than this is the fact that it was 100% preventable."
Interestingly, Joseph F. and Dennis L., two of Bryan B.'s co-workers who were also injured by the lightning strike have filed their own lawsuits against the two construction companies, claiming they failed to take the proper safety precautions during the storm.
"Instead of getting to safety, they offered us rain jackets. I was scared about the weather and told them I heard the forecast. They said get to work," said Joseph F. at the same press conference. "We knew we had to get out of there, but it was too late."
In response to the lawsuits, Tishman Construction released a short statement indicating that it was not cited by any organization investigating the tragic accident, including the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
As for Network Construction, it also released a statement from the company president expressing sadness over the fatal electrocution, but also characterizing the lightning strike/storm as "an Act of Nature" and "freak accident."
Stay tuned for updates from our Philadelphia personal injury/wrongful death blog ...
If a work-related death has left you and your family reeling, it's important to remember that you have rights and you have options. An attorney who can answer your questions and explain your rights can prove to be an indispensable ally.
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Names have been withheld to protect the identity of the parties.
NBC 10 Philadelphia, "Lawsuit filed in lightning strike death," Lauren DiSanto and Ted Greenberg, April 4, 2012