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Contractor killed in worksite accident, cause unknown

A tragic accident out of Washington D.C. this month may result in a wrongful death claim that could drag an Illinois company in with it. That’s because the worker who perished in the accident worked for Holland Welding, an Illinois-based company, which might be held partially responsible for what happened.

While the government shutdown is preventing investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board from following up on the accident, a few facts about the case are already known. According to reports, construction workers working on railroad tracks near Union Station heard a loud noise and noticed a fire. Two employees from another company suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries in the accident and are currently recovering in local hospitals.

After the fire, a large piece of railroad track became disconnected, striking a 41-year-old man who was employed by Holland Welding. He was pronounced dead and is considered to be the only fatality in this accident at this time.

Illinois-based Holland Welding, while not named at this time as a having had anything to do with the accident, could find itself encountering serious litigation if negligence is found on their part. If their welding machines caused the fire that injured the two workers, they could face personal injury lawsuits from the victims. If that fire resulted in the track’s dislodgment that inevitably killed the 41-year-old man, then they could be named in a wrongful death suit as well.

What happens in this case could ultimately affect employees of Holland Welding here as well because it could highlight safety concerns within the company. That means that other workers could be at risk of serious injury down the road or even death if the situation is not remedied.

Source: WJLA News, "Metro death: Contractor killed in welding accident," Roz Plater, Oct. 6, 2013

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