A pipeline worker’s widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against her husband’s employer.
During Robert McDannell’s attempt to rotate an unsecured, 128-foot-long load with slings attached, a 7,000-pound pipe crashed through the window of his heavy loader,. McDannell, who worked for Precision Pipeline LLC of Louisiana, did not have a protective screen on his excavator cab. As a result, when the load shifted, it came back through the cab window, impaling McDannell.
The statement of claim filed by McDannell’s widow suggested that Precision Pipeline did not conduct a proper job hazard assessment, as the company did not take into consideration the pipe stability, the existing situation or the location of all involved equipment, nor did it assess the danger of swinging a suspended pipe load in front of McDannell’s cab. In not doing so, the suit alleges that the company caused the death of Mr. McDannell.
Just prior to the accident, McDannell and a co-worker had been told to move the pipe from one location to another. However, the task started uphill from two commercial excavators, and the goal was to get around the machinery to get the pipe downhill. The lawsuit alleges the company he worked for knew, or should have known, that there was a high probability the unstable load would come back into the cab when it shifted.
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