Question: Can you still sue a company even if you filed for workman's comp if your spouse dies on the job after falling from a tower?
Answer: You actually are asking a pretty good question. We represent a wind tower worker, but his injury is not a wrongful death from falling; he had a serious car accident returning home from a job site. I have been keeping current on the news in the wind power industry and how workers are being affected. I do have a few concerns about fall protection gear regulations and training. Trainning seems to be a major shortfall with some of the companies erecting these towers.
We’ve represented the surviving spouses of workers who have fallen from heights and so this office is familiar with the standards involving fall arrest safety. In your case it is possible that you have a second claim, but that depends on many different factors. I've been examining these tower fall cases and understand your frustration and sympathize with you losing your husband so early in life. Many times the training is minimal, safety equipment hardly used and it entails a lot of climbing at heights. If that is true about the company he worked for, then you may actually have a gross negligence case. These cases where there was minimal training seem to me to be ones fitting some of the factors to prove gross negligence. One worker I talked with described a frightful situation surrounding climbing shortly after a ten minute discussion about getting on up the steel, but not being given a harness. This may be one of the only cases I’ve seen in the past few years that meet the exacting gross negligence standard under Iowa law. So the answer to your question is "maybe". Call us if we can help; otherwise best of luck to you.
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