Louisiana Worker Killed in Construction Accident

Louisiana Worker Killed in Construction Accident

A construction worker at the new Twin Spans Bridge in Louisiana drowned last October after a falling girder dragged him to the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain.  The family of the construction worker, Eric Blackmon, 44, filed a lawsuit Dec. 12 against the manufacturer of the concrete beam that was the source of the construction accident.  The suit claims the beam was flawed. 

Girder Known to be Faulty Previous to Accident 

The faulty girder was made by Gulf Coast Pre-Stress of Christian, Miss.  The suit claims that the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development and a company responsible for inspecting and overseeing construction of the $800 million bridge were fully aware of the girder’s defective properties. 

Suit Points out Specific Flaw 

The suit explains that the discovery of the girder’s flaws and the subsequent decisions made by the defendants in response to this discovery, make them accountable for the accident.  It points to the following circumstances: 

  • Properly constructed girders have holes that are used to secure them to pilings.
  • The holes on the defective girder were misaligned and could not interlock with inserts used to secure the beam.
  • This problem was addressed by having the construction workers drill new holes that would interlock with the inserts.

Construction Accident Was Preventable

The lawsuit alleges the defendants knew of the girder flaws and failed to take appropriate steps to correct the problem.  The plaintiffs believe that Blackmon’s drowning and the injuries sustained by the nine other workers that fell into the lake were perfectly preventable.

The defendants included in the suit are:

  • Gulf Coast Pre-Stress
  • Louisiana’s transportation department
  • Volkert and Associates

The suit is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

(Source: The Times-Picayune)

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