Early this month, a 28-year-old father of two was killed while he was working on the renovation and expansion of Kyle Field at Texas A&M. Now his family has filed a wrongful death suit against multiple parties they hold responsible for the fatal accident. They are asking for damages of $1 million and want the case to be heard by a jury.

The horrible incident occurred on Dec. 3 when the victim was on the fourth story of a pedestrian ramp that was being demolished. The young man was working on a loader that was catching concrete chunks as they fell into the machine’s bucket. One particularly large piece of concrete fell into the bucket. Although the bucket was made of steel, it was not able to hold such a heavy piece of debris. The machine, manufactured by Caterpillar, fell over the ramp and the worker fell out. He landed on his back in the concrete rubble from the demolition. He was taken to the hospital, but succumbed to his injuries within hours.

The family is suing multiple contractors who are working on the $450 million project, including Lindamood Demolition, the company for which the victim worked, two construction companies and two concrete-cutting companies. The suit charges them with “gross negligence, poor training and a failure to provide an adequate barrier along the fourth floor of the ramp.”

Both state and federal inquiries have begun. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating the incident. However, that investigation is not expected to be concluded until next spring. The victim’s former employer and another company named in the suit, Manhattan Construction, have previous OSHA violations.

An attorney who is assisting the family with their suit noted that as the incident is being investigated, the civil suit was filed because the family has to “begin the process of rebuilding their lives.” A memorial fund has been established to help the young man’s family, including his 6-year-old and 7-year-old, with their financial needs in the meantime.

Wrongful death suits are essential in cases like this to help a family that has suddenly lost a breadwinner so that they don’t have undue financial burdens to deal with on top of the emotional turmoil caused by a loved one’s death. These suits also hold those entities accountable for their actions or negligence are found to be responsible for a loved one’s loss.

Source: CultureMap Houston, “Lawsuit details horrific death of construction worker at Texas A&M stadium project” Tyler Rudick, Dec. 23, 2013