A Philadelphia family has agreed to a $10.5 million dollar settlement after filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the construction company that was in charge of the site at the time of his death.

Construction Worker Killed At Pier 78 Rehab Project

On a cold January night in 2016, John Johnson was working as a laborer on the Pier 78 Rehabilitation Project. His shift was a newly formed one and lasted from 2 pm to midnight.

At around 7:30 pm, coworkers realized that they hadn’t seen him for nearly an hour. At first, it was assumed that he had left without notifying anyone and so they began to call his cell phone. But a short time later, one of the men noticed Johnson’s hard hat floating on the water. Unable to see him anywhere, they called 911.

overlooking river near philadelphia pierDivers found Johnson’s body in the water just a short time later, under the pier. It is believed that he fell through a hole that was cut into the deck of the pier, a hole that the construction company was supposed to cover in order to protect workers on the site. Not only did the company fail to cover the hole, but the lighting around the are was inadequate.

A forensic pathologist who reviewed the case spoke about the pain and terror that Johnson must have experienced before he died, saying that he likely experienced the painful symptoms of hypothermia as well as the knowledge of his potential death for at least 15 minutes before losing consciousness and drowning.

Sadly, Johnson wasn’t the only construction worker to suffer at the site, with another worker dying and a third losing his hand, all due to the alleged negligence of the construction company that was overseeing the project, Agate Construction Company, Inc. Knowing this, Johnson’s family decided to seek justice for their loved ones and took legal action.

Why Do Families File Wrongful Death Lawsuits?

There are several reasons that a family may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit. First, this civil lawsuit sends a message to those responsible, letting them know that they must face the consequences if they are going to act negligently and put others at risk. Second, through a settlement or successful verdict, compensation can be obtained that will ensure the family is able to financially survive the loss of their loved one’s income and benefits.

Who Is Eligible To File A Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Those who are typically eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit include the parents, spouse, and/or children of the deceased. However, if another family member was dependant upon the victim, they may also be eligible.

How Is Negligence Determined?

Although it may sound silly, it’s not always clear that negligence has occurred which is why it’s important to consult an attorney if something doesn’t seem quite right.

Generally, negligence occurs when one person or group fails to behave in a reasonable manner and others are put at risk as a result. On construction sites, this can mean many different things. For example, an electrician may leave wires exposed with an electrical current still running and as a result, another worker is electrocuted. Or perhaps a contractor orders an unqualified worker to operate a crane and a crane accident occurs.

In many cases, the negligent party isn’t even part of the construction project. Auto accidents are a common cause of workplace injuries and the negligent driver could be someone who had a few too many alcoholic drinks and got behind the wheel of their vehicle, putting everyone else on the road at risk.

Schuster Law: Proudly Representing Injured Workers & Their Families In Philadelphia

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured at work, our legal team can help. In addition to assisting with a workers’ compensation claim or appeal, our legal team will review your case and determine if you are also eligible to receive compensation through other legal claims, such as a civil lawsuit.

Call our local law office today to learn more.