Family of Construction Worker Awarded $27 Million in Wrongful Death Suit

wrongful death construction

A Los Angeles jury awarded $27 million to the family for the wrongful death of a construction worker who was fatally injured at a water treatment plant in 2011.

About the Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Edgar Alejandro Gonzalez, 30, was standing on top of a 30-foot concrete wall-form panel at a water treatment plant, when it collapsed, killing him.

According to an investigation, Gonzalez was helping put up a wall at the Hyperion Treatment Plant, which treats municipal wastewater from the city of Los Angeles, when the accident occurred Aug. 2, 2011. He suffered severe head trauma when he fell and parts of the wall collapsed on top him.

The family filed a lawsuit against Atlas Construction Supply Inc., the designer and supplier of the wall-form system.

After a day of deliberating, jurors found the construction company at fault for the accident and awarded $3.5 million in economic damages and $23.5 million in non-economic damages to Gonzalez’s wife, Rosa, and their two children.

The jury had concluded that Atlas’ share of negligence was 55%, while the rest of the blame lay with USS Cal Builders, a contractor for the project, and the city of Los Angeles, according to the attorney for the plaintiff.

Construction Accident Statistics

The following information was provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):

  • On the job accidents resulted in 4,821 deaths in 2014. This averages to 13 deaths every day or more than 92 deaths per week.
  • Of those killed in workplace accidents in 2014, 4,386 were employed in private industry. Construction accidents resulted in 899 deaths.
  • Among the leading causes of construction related deaths, are:
    • Falls
    • Electrocutions
    • Struck by object
    • Caught-in/between
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