As a Miami personal injury lawyer who sues construction companies for negligence, news that two construction workers electrocuted on the job are suing for their injuries is not shocking to me — no pun intended.
The news broke this past weekend when a lawsuit was filed by the two injured construction workers for injuries sustained while working on a project on Beale Air Force Base for the United States government. The construction workers had been manipulating reinforcement bar, or “rebar” for short, as part of a larger scale project on October 17, 2011. According to the allegations of the lawsuit, this project took place near an electrical substation on the air force base.
While working on the construction site manipulating the rebar, one worker was electrocuted from a shock originating from the electrical substation. Additionally, the other worker had witnessed the electrocution first hand — seeing flames engulf the body of his co-worker, which left him with no choice but to extinguish the fiery blaze that took over the worker’s body. Thankfully, the construction worker that fell victim to this electrocution survived, but suffered major burns to half his body — including third degree burns. The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California on July 25, 2012 against the United States of America.
Naturally, after a significant construction site injury to a worker by way of electrocution, as seen above, a lawsuit undoubtedly follows claiming wrongful conduct of the construction site supervisor. In many instances, negligent conduct of the site supervisor is alleged by the injured construction worker. Note: this of course may not be the case in Florida due to Workers’ Compensation Immunity (see post from August 18, 2012).
In most cases of alleged construction site negligence, the supervisor of construction workers has a duty to ensure the reasonable safety of workers performing certain tasks on a project site. Additionally, the supervisor must take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent injury to construction workers.
Now, when construction site accidents occur and lawsuits follow, the site supervisor often is to blame for breaching the duty of care owed to his or her construction workers. What is a breach you may ask? Simply stated, a breach, in legal terms of course, is failing to do something that you should have done – or– doing something that you should not have done.
Lastly, this breach must have been the cause of the injury suffered by the construction worker. In other words, the injured construction worker must prove that the damages he or she suffered were a direct result of the breach of the duty owed by the construction site supervisor to his or her workers.
This often turns into a lengthy and contentious battle for south Florida personal injury lawyers to overcome, as construction companies are represented by some of the top law firms in the country. However, it is a fight that is worth fighting by those injured on construction sites to ultimately receive the compensation that they deserve.
By: Brandon Stein