Family sues university after fatal construction accident

College sports are popular in Florida and other parts of the country, especially right now during March Madness. That’s why many colleges and universities focus on updating their existing sports facilities. Although a new venue can be exciting for athletes, the process involves construction, which is a dangerous industry. Many construction workers are killed every year in workplace accidents. One man was killed while working on a college football stadium and his family is now suing.

The fatal construction accident happened at Baylor University in Texas on Jan. 28. A man was working on a hydraulic lift when it rolled off a barge and fell into a nearby river. The man, who was strapped to the lift, could not break free. He ended up drowning in the river. His body was found several hours later, still attached to the lift.

The 55-year-old man’s wife, mother and three children have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Baylor University, Genie Industries, Flexifloat Construction Systems and three construction companies. Genie Industries is the manufacturer of the boom lift that the man was working on, while Flexifloat Construction Systems designed the barge.

The family is looking for answers as to why the man was found on the bottom of the river still attached to the lift. They are claiming that the design of the lift was faulty and believe that the manufacturer should be held liable.

An Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation can take up to six months to complete. The agency will determine how the accident occurred, who should be held liable and what the next steps should be. If a third party is deemed responsible for the construction worker’s death, then the man’s family could receive compensation for damages in addition to the workers’ compensation death benefits.

SourceWacoTrib.com, “Family of construction worker files lawsuit in fatal industrial accident” Tommy Witherspoon, Mar. 12, 2014