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Family files wrongful death suit against Pennsylvania contractors

When it comes to workplace safety, contractors in Pennsylvania are no different from employers of companies anywhere in the country. They are responsible for ensuring the safety of workers they hire for projects. They are mandated by state agencies and law, and often by insurance companies, to identify and address on-the-job hazards that can cause workplace accidents.

One mother is alleging that her son died in April 2013 because the company that hired him to do electrical work never identified a potential hazard. The man had been employed as an independent contractor when he allegedly touched an ungrounded copper wire and was electrocuted while doing work on the second floor of a house under construction.

The plaintiff has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against four Philadelphia-area companies and two homeowners, citing 20 incidents of negligence. The plaintiff's suit alleges that the copper wire was not properly discharged, leading to her son's electrocution and death.

The plaintiff's suit holds the defendants responsible for allowing the man to work in unsafe conditions. The four contractors and their employees allegedly failed several times to warn the work accident victim of the potential danger inside the electrical panel he was assigned to work on. In addition, the two homeowners were blamed for allowing contractors to work on their property without first securing the proper permits from the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections. The wrongful death lawsuit is seeking $50,000 in damages for each count.

The loss of a family member in a workplace accident can be overwhelming to other family members, particularly if the incident was preventable. A wrongful death lawsuit can provide a legal remedy that can bring compensation in cases where negligence is an established factor.

Source: Pennsylvania Record, "Family of man electrocuted seeks damages from employers," Jim Boyle, July 1, 2014

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