October 26, 2015
A tragic accident occurred at a City of Calgary construction site in the early afternoon of Friday, October 23, resulting in the death of a 35-year old contractor working for the city. Though an investigation into the full details of the incident is ongoing and a full report has yet to be issued, it is possible that the victim's family could be entitled to compensation from the City of Calgary if the city, in its capacity as the employer on the site, contributed to the likelihood of the accident through negligence.
Calgary Workplace Safety is Everyone's Business
The facts that are known are simple: while cutting a piece of pipe at the Rosemont drainage improvement project, at a Calgary-owned and City of Calgary-operated site, the man was pinned against a cement barrier by a backhoe, when the piece of heavy construction equipment backed into him. Details on who was driving the backhoe and whether or not there were other possible factors at play have not yet been released.
Although the victim was quickly released, he was unconscious and unresponsive to attempts to revive him by emergency crews who quickly arrived on the scene. He was pronounced dead at the site where the accident occurred. As Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is still conducting its investigation into Friday's accident, the City of Calgary would not comment on any further details other than to confirm the fatality and extend its condolences to the family and friends of the victim—sentiments everyone in Calgary surely shares.
Many in Calgary, especially the friends and family of the victim, will also share many questions regarding the incident, namely: how can this have happened? Was the driver of the backhoe properly trained, and was he or she in appropriate condition to be operating that equipment at the time of the incident? Was the victim asked to work in a place of low visibility without proper safeguards in place? Were proper communication systems in place at a site that was predictably noisy and difficult to hear in?
If the City of Calgary was in any way negligent in providing a safe workplace, with proper training, equipment, and oversight meant to prevent such accidents, the city could be held liable for the victim's wrongful death, and could potentially owe damages to certain family members of the victim. These could include lost earnings over the remainder of the decedent's career, pain and suffering caused to the family, and possibly other damages as well. As the full facts of the case emerge, what the family is entitled to should become more clear.
Wrongful Death Claims in Calgary Aren't Easy
Though it adds insult to tragedy, the fact is that wrongful death claims can be quite complex and difficult to pursue. Having a team of legal professionals by your side can make this process far easier, and gives you room to grieve without giving up on the chance to put your family back together as best as you can. For a free consultation regarding a possible wrongful death in your family, contact Cuming & Gillespie today.
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