It’s not uncommon for large companies to bring in contractors to help them complete work and while this can often be an excellent way to increase productivity, it can also put employees in a potentially life-threatening situation if the work performed by the contractor is defective.
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Boeing, a company which is known internationally for building commercial jetliners, has thousands of employees across the United States and they are responsible for providing each individual with a safe working environment. While Boeing might do everything in their power to keep employees safe, sometimes the contractors they hire fail to follow the same standards.
In 2013, a 38-year old man who was working for Boeing building a 747, was standing on a platform with several other coworkers as they worked on the seams of a plane. The platform was an automated mobile platform that was known as an automated slider that could be moved when the plane needed to be shifted.
When the body of the plane needed to be rotated, the sliders were moved back. Then, when the body was in position, the sliders were redeployed. Unknown to Boeing and the workers, the contractor who worked on the software which ran the sliders had modified the original computer program. As a result, when the slider redeployed, a large gap was created that shouldn’t have been there, causing the victim to fall from the platform to the concrete below.
The impact caused a traumatic brain injury and although the worker survived the initial fall, he died eleven days later in the hospital. He is survived by his wife who chose to file a lawsuit against the company which installed the faulty software.
During the trial, the plaintiff’s legal team presented evidence that showed that the contractor, SAR, failed to install new software that would have instigated emergency lighting and horns if a dangerous gap occurred. The legal team even brought in an expert from the company who created the software who testified that this modification to the software caused a defect which rendered the program “unreasonably dangerous”.
Ultimately, the jury found SAR to be at fault and awarded the plaintiff $8.8 million in compensatory damages.
When someone is killed in an accident, their spouse, parents, or children may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, in order to be eligible, the deceased must have died due to another party’s negligence. Negligence occurs when someone fails to act in a reasonable manner and puts others around them at unnecessary risk. Examples of negligence include:
It can be difficult to prove that negligence occurred which is why it’s so important to work with an experienced lawyer.
When you come to our law firm, we carefully review every aspect of the accident, speak with witnesses, review evidence that has already been collected, and consult with industry experts. Then, we advise our clients about each legal avenue that is available to them. If they choose to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, our legal team will be there to support them during the entire process.
At Banville Law, we work with our clients for a contingency fee. This means that we are paid nothing upfront but our fee comes directly out of the compensation we obtain for the client. All of our fees will be discussed at the very beginning so there are no surprises.
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