Marathon Oil Building Collapse Results in Two Wrongful Death Lawsuits
The families of two men involved in the construction of the Marathon Oil headquarters have filed wrongful death lawsuits against Marathon Oil and several of the company’s subcontractors. The men died after a staircase collapsed during construction. The lawsuit claims the negligence and safety oversights led to the men’s deaths. There were three victims in the incident.
Two of the victims’ families have filed wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of Jose Alexander Santos Granados, 29, and Dholman Obdulio Gomez Castellano, 36. The family of a third victim is expected to file a separate lawsuit.
Families Allege Gross Negligence
The two men were on the fourth and fifth floors of the tower when the stairway collapsed. The collapse happened immediately and gave the men no chance to react. As the concrete stairs crumbled, the men were trapped in the rubble. Cleanup crews recovered the bodies two days later after the site was secured.
OSHA was onsite to investigate the incident, but no official cause for the collapse has been announced. If OSHA finds that safety protocols were not followed, then the defendants may be on the hook for punitive damages.
The plaintiffs have been given an injunction by the court to stop the parties from altering the scene of the collapse. They want to have their own people in there to inspect what happened. If serious safety violations were present and these led to the collapse, the families may be entitled to recover punitive damages from the stakeholders. This would mean that they would be entitled to a larger sum than is generally available because the court and jury see fit to punish the negligent parties. However, the standard for punitive damages is quite high. The family must prove that the stakeholders knew about the danger and then failed to intervene. It can be difficult (though not impossible) to prove what a person knew and when they knew it.
When attorneys file lawsuits, they tend to lead with the most severe claims. In this case, the attorneys are saying that the stakeholders ignored safety protocols and exposed the men to danger. However, in gross negligence lawsuits, the plaintiff must often show that the defendant showed a callous disregard for the safety of others.
On the Job Accidents
It’s not always possible to sue for damages when you’re injured on the job. However, in this case, there were several parties working together. Texas law prevents Texas workers from filing lawsuits against their employers but only if they carry workers’ compensation insurance. Employers who carry workers’ compensation insurance are immune from lawsuits filed by their own employees. However, this does not prevent their employees from filing lawsuits against other contractors.
Talk to a Houston Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured on the job, you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer or other companies who contributed negligence to the situation. Call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Livingston & Flowers today to learn more about how we can help.