While trying to complete maintenance on a cruise ship docked at Port Everglades in Florida, an extended scissor lift toppled over. As the machinery tipped, three workers became injured as they fell with the lift. Tragically, two of the men did not survive the incident.
The machinery in question was on a moveable bridge, which is usually used to allow passengers to board and exit cruise ships. At the time of the incident, there weren’t any passengers nearby, so the workers were the only ones directly affected.
At this time, Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials are investigating the incident. They will be determining what exactly caused the incident. During the course of their inquiry, they may try to determine if the movable bridge shifted, which would have caused an imbalance in the lift elevated dozens of feet into the air.
Although the loved ones of the men who passed away may be eligible workers’ compensation death benefits, they may consider filing a wrongful death suit in order to help cover the full extent of their losses. Before moving forward, however, it will be important to determine how accepting workers’ compensation will impact their ability to file a civil claim.
Another potential option is determining whether or not the negligence of a third party, other than the employer, played a role in the fatal accident. For example, the scissor lift’s manufacturer could be held liable if there was a flaw in the machinery.
Whatever the case, this incident has undoubtedly changed the lives of many people. In order to begin the healing process, it may be beneficial to explore all available options.
Source: The Miami Herald, “2 dead, 1 injured when scissor lift collapses at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale,” Julie K. Brown, March 15, 2013
- The days and weeks after a fatal accident can be frightening and confusing for a victim’s loved ones. To learn more about potential legal options, please see our Tampa wrongful death page.