Contractors Sued Over Atlantic City Lightning Fatality
Two workers injured last September by a lighting strike while building an Atlantic City casino resort, and the widow of a third worker who was killed, filed a lawsuit April 4 against contractors and others involved with the project.
Dennis Lamond and Joe Forcinito, the workers, and Carmen Bradley, the widow of Bryan Bradley, filed a lawsuit in state court in Atlantic City against Tishman Construction Corp. and Network Construction Co., Pleasantville, N.J.
Network Construction was a subcontractor to Tishman and the employer of the three workers.
All three laborers were working on the topmost level of the Revel Hotel and Casino near a tower crane whose operator, the lawsuit claims, was employed by Tishman.
In the lawsuit, the Lamond, Forcinito and Bradley also named as a defendant a safety consultant to Tishman and another unspecified subcontractor and an unspecified engineering firm that the plaintiffs say they had not had time to identify.
The plaintiffs accused the companies of failing to provide a safe workplace, properly train personnel or inspect equipment and mitigate hazards. There are few other public details about what occurred.
According to news media, the plaintiffs were involved with concrete placement on the top level of the structure as a thunderstorm approached. But the contractors pressed on with the concrete work. As the last bucket from the crane was emptied, the three workers left to seek shelter. But lightning struck the crane, electrocuting Bradley, who was "gripping a metal bucket of concrete," according to the Associated Press. Forcinito and Lamond, who were "a few feet away, also were hit by the lightning and knocked down," says AP.
Tishman Construction, through a spokesman, noted that an investigation into the death and injuries by U.S. Labor Dept. safety officials did not produce a citation against the company.
“Although we cannot comment on pending matters, we would note that entities investigating the incident last year, including OSHA, did not find us at fault,” said John Gallagher, Tishman Construction Corp.'s director of public affairs.
In a statement, Network Construction's president, Robert Polisano, said that the storm "came out of nowhere and its initial strike caused the death of a young man who is sadly missed by all."
"Whenever there is an accident, human nature says there has to be someone at fault, but not in this case," Polisano said. "It was an act of nature…a freak accident. It was not the act of the foreman running the crew or anyone else."
He declined to comment further "due to the pending litigation."