Employers, even those who contract work, are expected to maintain conditions that facilitate the safe completion of work. While many companies in Pennsylvania and other areas of the country have multiple rules in place to ensure worker safety, these rules only protect workers if they are followed. In a Wrongful Death lawsuit recently filed in another state, the parents of a deceased worker claim that a company’s failure to follow its own policies led to their son’s death.
The defendants in the case own a company that repairs elevators. On a day in Aug. 2015, their company was hired by Otis Elevator Co. to complete repair work on an elevator at a Wells Fargo Center. Reports indicate that the defendants’ son was working as a contractor with Otis to complete the repairs.
The lawsuit claims that, per Otis policy, an Otis employee is required to be present when third-party contractors are working alone. Although the lawsuit claims that two Otis employees were present at some point, they soon left, complaining of the smell of the varnish he was applying. Another employee reportedly discovered the man less than an hour later; he is said to have been unresponsive due to an electrical shock. He ultimately passed away.
The parents of the deceased man make several claims in their lawsuit. In addition to wrongful death, they also allege premises liability and negligence. While the majority of employers in Pennsylvania are committed to protecting their workers, failure to follow procedures can have a devastating consequences. To ensure that responsible parties are held accountable for their actions, many surviving family members in Pennsylvania choose to file a civil lawsuit as this family has done. While it may do little to lessen their grief, it could force a company to enact changes to will prevent other families from suffering similarly in the future.
Source: mynewsla.com, “Elevator horror as worker electrocuted: Tearful parents sue Otis Co.,” Christina Kelley, Aug. 14, 2017