A jury in another state has found one company, SAR Automation, L.P., liable in the death of a Boeing employee. The decision comes after the third-party personal injury and wrongful death suit that was filed against the company by the employee’s widow. She filed the suit on behalf of herself and the two daughters that she shared with the deceased. While this case did not take place in Michigan, similar cases are heard throughout the state each year.
The man was working at a facility owned by Boeing when the accident occurred. He and three other Boeing employees were standing near the edge of an automatic slider that was said to have been attached to a mobile platform. Because of a modification to the computer system (made by SAR) of the platform, a gap opened up unexpectedly and he fell 18 feet to land on a concrete floor. He died 11 days later due to a traumatic brain injury that he suffered in that fall.
Boeing and the employees were unaware of the system modifications that caused the accident. In 2012, SAR had been contracted by Boeing to install a platform that would fix the issues, but SAR failed to install safety precautions and alarms that would have warned the workers of the gaps. If these precautions had been installed, alarms and lights would have warned the man that he was in danger. The sliders which caused the gap would also have been stopped from moving.
If SAR had installed the system platform as it was designed, it would have worked as originally designed and prevented the death, according to the court. Anyone who has been injured or lost loved ones due to a workplace accident is typically entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. If the evidence suggests a third party (such as the case with SAR) was negligent, a third-party claim in civil court may be appropriate. In Michigan, a personal injury attorney can help determine what legal recourse may be available and assist in pursuing claims for recovery of financial losses.
Source: counton2.com, “Jury finds company liable for death of Boeing employee“, Aug. 25, 2017