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Attorneys Demand Surveillance Video of Sewage Plant Worker’s Death

Although many wrongful death cases happen in highly visible places such as construction yards, some accidents happen without witnesses, and may not be immediately discovered. In one Florida man’s case, working the night shift meant that 18 hours passed before his body was discovered– and much longer until his family’s investigation would reveal the cause of his untimely death.

Worker’s Body Found in Pipe

At a memorial service early this February, family, friends, and co-workers remembered a sewage plant worker who had faced a tragic workplace injury and death. The plant operator had worked at the city-operated plant, and even participated as a whistleblower in a management “shake-up” in 2013. The worker was instrumental in rejuvenating management at the plant, and the public service union would ultimately help finance the plant operator’s funeral service, for which the family struggled to pay, along with other plant administrators.

Unfortunately, during a routine night shift in the middle of January, the plant worker was pulled into a 42-inch underground sewage pipe along with a current of semi-treated sewage. Because there does not seem to have been witnesses to the incident, he was simply reported missing. It was not until 18 hours had passed, and the 100-acre site had been searched, that colleagues noticed a missing grate and discovered the Florida man’s body. Following the incident, the mayor ordered a review of all safety protocols for similar high-risk jobs, and access to the area of the incident was carefully restricted.

A Metal Grate and a Video

As a result of the uncertain circumstances, at first his family did not have an explanation for the incident. Despite their grief, the plant operators’ sons took action and hired a wrongful death attorney. Investigation revealed that a metal grate, which the decedent would have been standing on just before the incident, was also found in the mouth of the pipe. Although this suggests the cause of the accident, the plant operator’s family hopes to discover whether the plant’s equipment was at fault for the man’s death by obtaining any security camera footage of the incident.

A wrongful death attorney can demand an unedited version of relevant security footage, and even obtain expert assistance in analyzing the video or the metal grate if needed. An accident reconstructionist or an engineering expert may be able to examine the video or the grate to determine whether the grate should have been replaced prior to the incident. In either case, your attorney could help you investigate a case like this and discover what actually happened.

It can be a harrowing experience for a family to wait for others to investigate a loved one’s death or disappearance. If you have lost a loved one to an accident without witnesses, further investigation can reveal that the cause of the accident might not be what you might expect. Call Fort Lauderdale wrongful death attorney Scott Newmark for a consultation on your case. Your attorney will be demand the documents and video that you have a right to see, and help you seek justice and compensation.

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