The joint-venture contracting team building the $1-billion-plus data center in Utah for the National Security Agency has been hit with a wrongful death lawsuit arising from a fatal accident near the jobsite in June 2012.
Cathi Turner, 48, of West Riverton, Utah, was riding her bike with a friend on a Saturday morning along Redwood Road, which passes near the front entrance to the site, when she collided “with a large orange highway sign sitting in the bike lane and crashed her bike. She died later from injuries sustained in the crash,” says attorney Robert Gilchrist with the Salt Lake City law firm Eisenberg, Gilchrist & Cutt. He is representing Turner’s husband Jay in the lawsuit, filed in the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake County.
Gilchrist says that the highway sign “was turned sideways, with the lettering facing the road, which made it much harder to see.”
The suit alleges that the sign was also improperly left on the shoulder, rather than being moved off the road, which Gilchrist says the contractors should have done, since it was a weekend. He adds that Cathi Turner was an experienced cyclist and she was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
“Signs like that are simply not supposed to be in the bike lane,” Gilchrist says. “They need to be removed from the road, not just turned sideways.” He claims that at least two other accidents have happened in the same area. Utah courts do not require suits to ask for a specific amount of damages. Contractors named in the suit include Balfour Beatty, DPR Construction, Big-D Construction and paving contractor Staker Parson Co. Their attorneys could not be reached for comment.
The data center’s construction has also been plagued by delays and recent problems with electrical systems. It was originally slated to open this fall, but a specific completion date has not been announced.