The family of a Minnesota man who fell to his death in 2012 filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Renville County. According to the lawsuit, the 28-year-old man died after he fell 60 feet while working at the South Central Grain and Energy facility in Buffalo Lake.

In the lawsuit, the family alleged that the man was strapped into a safety harness that was attached to a lanyard on Oct. 27, 2012. After he fell, responders were unable to successfully resuscitate him. The family claims that certain defects in a component of the lanyard actually caused the man’s death.

The lawsuit names a number of defendants, including the manufacturer of the lanyard, the manufacturer of its components, the general contractor in charge of the project that the man was working on at the time and the man’s employer. The defendants denied the allegations, and the parties that are involved in the lawsuit were scheduled to meet on Dec. 11 to discuss the possibility of a trial.

Employers are expected to do whatever they can to keep their employees safe. This includes ensuring that all equipment that is being used has been tested and kept maintained. However, certain jobs, including construction work, do carry a risk for suffering a work injury or death. Family members who have lost loved ones as a result of workplace accidents may use the workers’ compensation death benefits to offset the sudden loss of income and funeral costs. If a claim is denied or a settlement is not adequate, it may be possible to file a claim for a more substantial award.

Source: Grand Forks Herald, “Wrongful death lawsuit filed in Minnesota workplace accident”, December 04, 2013