Family of worker killed when overpass collapsed sues Ohio

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Posted: Feb 11, 2015 2:27 PM
Family of worker killed when overpass collapsed sues Ohio

CINCINNATI (AP) — The parents of a worker killed when a highway overpass collapsed have sued Ohio's Department of Transportation, charging negligence and carelessness.

They sued on behalf of the estate and family members of Brandon Carl. The 35-year-old father of four from Augusta, Kentucky, died Jan. 19 during demolition work to remove an Interstate 75 ramp bridge in Cincinnati.

The lawsuit charges that the department was negligent and breached its duty by allowing improper and unsafe conditions at the site for work ODOT had contracted to have done by Kokosing Construction Company Inc. of Columbus.

It said the negligence and carelessness caused Carl to suffer "great physical pain" and "extreme mental anguish" as he died. It said there were dangerous conditions including "lack of a stable surface on which to work and work being performed with flawed calculations, plans and specifications for demolition."

The lawsuit was filed this week in the Columbus-based Ohio Court of Claims, which handles legal claims against the state and state agencies. It seeks unspecified total damages and payment of $11,295.50 in funeral expenses. It seeks damages for things such as loss of expected earnings, loss of companionship and anguish and grief suffered by his parents, children and his four siblings.

Brian Cunningham, a spokesman for the Transportation Department, said Wednesday the agency wouldn't comment on pending litigation.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reported in Wednesday's editions that Carl's fiancee, Kendra Blair, has retained counsel to represent her and the children in potential litigation. She wasn't a plaintiff in the Court of Claims filing.

ODOT and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration are investigating the cause of the collapse. Kokosing has said it is retaining a third-party engineering firm to review all of its demolition plans and independent experts to review the Cincinnati plans.

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