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New Jersey wife files suit over husband's lightning strike death

The wife of a New Jersey construction worker who was killed when he was struck by lightning on the job has reportedly filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the construction companies that employed her husband. In her suit, the wife alleges that the companies' on-site safety personnel had failed to sufficiently monitor the weather conditions that ultimately caused her husband's death.

According to the wrongful death suit, the fatal construction accident took place in September 2011 as the construction worker and two other men worked to build the roof of a new Atlantic City casino. While the men worked, seven stories off the ground, the weather grew increasingly treacherous, with strong winds, rain, thunder and lightning. Yet the metal buckets containing quick-drying concrete kept coming, and the men kept working.

This, said one of the deceased man's fellow construction crew members, was because the men did not feel that they had a choice as to whether they could stop working and seek shelter. "That day, we were all scared, afraid for our lives because of the storm," he said. "But we kept working because we were told to."

That lack of choice turned out to be fatal when a bolt of lightning struck the construction worker.

In her suit, the worker's wife alleges that the storm created more than 1,200 lightning strikes in the region, and that an 80-story crane near where the men were working created a "powerful conduit" for the fatal lightning strike. As such, said the personal injury attorney for one of the other men on the site, the construction companies should have done more to protect their workers. "Couldn't they see the sky was crackling with lightning bolts?" he asked.

If a family member or loved one has lost their life as a result of another person's negligence, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, "Suit filed in A.C. death by lightning," Jacqueline L. Urgo, April 5, 2012

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