Two construction workers died in an accident on the job site last week. This incident highlights how the complex arrangements between general contractors and subcontractors can make it difficult to know where to turn for workers’ compensation or personal injury recovery.
Two Workers Die After Falling Down Elevator Shaft
The incident happened on June 4, 2018, in St. Louis, Missouri, at a building on Washington Avenue. The ten-story building is being converted from a shoe factory into a hotel, requiring heavy demolition and renovation.
Two workers were cutting pipes in an elevator shaft, standing in a basket suspended at the sixth floor. Suddenly, the basket’s safety cable snapped, and the basket fell down the elevator shaft. Both men died in the construction accident.
While city inspectors had been the building only ten days earlier, they found nothing wrong on the site. However, union officials had been complaining about poor training and weak safety procedures on the site for weeks before the accident.
The basket in question was being used for the first time after its installation when it failed. The subcontractor who employed the workers claimed that the basket had been inspected before being used.
Tangled Web of Contractors and Subcontractors Masks Fault
When a horrible worksite accident like this happens, it is crucial for the workers and their families to get compensation from whoever was at fault. However, the tangled web of contractors and subcontractors involved in the construction process can make this incredibly difficult.
In this case, according to preliminary reports, Milwaukee-based Fe Equus is the company that is turning the old factory into a hotel. While the general contractor on the project is Paric Corporation, the company on site to do demolition and cleanup is GenCorp Services. According to Paric Corp.’s spokesperson, though, GenCorp Services was hired directly by Fe Equus.
GenCorp Services then hired another subcontractor, World Wrecking, who employed the two workers who died in the accident. The basket that failed, though, was installed and inspected by yet another company, Safway Group.
These details matter because only the company that was at fault for the accident will be held liable for it in a personal injury lawsuit for wrongful death. Pursuing this personal injury claim in court is essential: While Missouri workers’ compensation law gives survivor benefits to the dependents of the workers who died on the job, these benefits pale in comparison to what they deserve to receive.
St. Joseph Workers’ Compensation Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
Construction companies know that they operate in a dangerous environment, where workers get hurt on a daily basis. They also know that they stand to save money by putting as many complications and obstacles in the way of injured workers and their families to avoid liability.
Navigating this maze can take a workers’ compensation and personal injury attorney.