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Lawsuit filed in construction accident

Four hundred miles north of New York City sits the small Maine town of Albion. That's where a construction accident last May claimed the life of a man working on a project as a contractor.

The man was working under a building that had been raised with lift jacks. He was dead on the scene when the structure collapsed on top of him, officials said.

The man, 52 years old, was the father of five children, including three under the age of 18. The worker's former wife recently filed a claim with a Maine court asking for an unspecified amount of damages.

She seeks, among other things, compensation for funeral expenses, medical care and lost companionship, as well as punitive damages.

The man was apparently working on a lakeside cottage that had been raised when the building slid off of supports and fell on top of him.

Documents filed with the court state that the contractor failed to provide a stable foundation for the lift jacks and failed to provide adequate support for the structure once the building had been raised.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration apparently agreed that the foundations for the jacks were inadequate and that the structure wasn't properly secured once it had been lifted up. The contractor was fined $9,240 by OSHA for three violations; an appeal of the fines is currently in the works.

Let's hope the best for the man's children as they deal with this tragedy.

The ripple effect of an event like this is that the family sustains an immeasurable loss of a loved one, but also measurable losses that must be dealt with in addition to the grief and sorrow. Measurable losses include a loss of income, health insurance and similar financial benefits that a provider supplies.

Source: Portland Press-Herald, "Lawsuit filed in deadly Maine construction incident," Feb. 28, 2013

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