A tragedy has emerged out of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Edward M. (Ed) Haines, 51, a mechanic was killed when he was called to service a backhoe in an eastern Pennsylvania worksite. While working on the backhoe, he became trapped underneath it and the backhoe ran over him. The machinery was not on a jack at the time, and authorities are continuing to investigate what went wrong. The site was being used for storage, and officials of Ray Gonzales Trucking Company, who owned the backhoe, said he was working at the site alone.
As a nationally-renowned Philadelphia construction accident attorney, our firm has taken part in complex litigation against property owners, developers and general contractors with sophisticated legal teams and insurance companies that are dedicated to avoiding liability. Some of the workers we represent have been unlawfully subjected to dangerous working conditions, as Mr. Haines very well could have been. The fact that Mr. Haines was alone when the accident happened complicates the investigation and legal proceedings, and it’s unlikely that his family, two children and a wife of 30 years, will get answers easily.
Police are investigating exactly what happened, likely in order to see if the management’s negligence led to the accident. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also probing the accident. Many times accidents like these could have been avoided, if simple safety measures were taken.
As a plaintiff’s attorney, I also represent clients in personal injury, police brutality, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. While many feel that their employers, the police, and authority figures in general have their best interests in mind and will honor their civic and professional responsibilities, legal matters quickly become a numbers game. These types of cases can be very complex because of the different parties involved. Construction companies often use contractors, who then work on land owned by a developer. The construction company or developer may oversee the construction on land they do not always own. In the event of an accident, these conglomerates often succeed in making it unclear who is the responsible party.
My goal is to protect those who need protection, bring those responsible to justice, and get compensation for victims, like Ed Haines, and their families. Many times lawsuits have the benefit of forcing companies to be more careful and take extra safety precautions, so that these types of tragedies can be avoided in the future.