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Collapse of equipment results in 2 construction deaths

Two construction workers were killed when they fell 90 feet after a wagon lift they were riding in collapsed. The workers were on a perch off Interstate 85 near Montgomery while they worked on the Montgomery Outer Loop. The family has filed a wrongful-death suit.

Police tape marks the spot where the two men were working on the underpass in a basket at the construction site. One man was a resident of Montgomery and the other, a resident of Lomax. According to reports, the two men died immediately as a result of an equipment malfunction when the perch suddenly hurtled to the ground, 90-feet below.

The children of one of the victims has filed a lawsuit against the state-hired bridge company that was the employer and contractor for the highway construction project. The children are claiming wrongful death, negligence and wantonness as the cause of death, as well as for the worker's compensation claim.

The suit has been filed in the Montgomery County Circuit Court. There are several defendants in the lawsuit, including one company based in Illinois that manufactured the equipment that allegedly malfunctioned. Some additional defendants who might be responsible for maintenance, sale, inspection or fabrication of the wagon lift have not been named as of yet.

The children filing the lawsuit are seeking damages that are equal to the full value of their father's life for each count. They are also seeking punitive damages, further damages and further relief the family might be entitled to, along with the legal fees for the lawsuit.

Legal representation stated that calls to the area supervisor of the bridge company have not been returned.

Construction-related deaths are complex since identifying the cause of an injury or death may involve in-depth investigation of all parties involved, including issues with supervision, violation of codes and faulty work equipment. Responsibility in these construction negligence may extend beyond the obvious. Families of victims owe it to themselves and the victim to identify the cause of a construction accident and seek full damages under the law.

Source: montgomeryadvertiser.com, "Suit filed over Outer Loop worker's death" Kala Kachmar, Jan. 10, 2014

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