The workplace can become dangerous for many reasons; everything from asbestos exposure to defective machinery can pose a threat. Less commonly, unstable co-workers create their own dangers. In a tragic example, a business meeting last year in the Pittsburgh area turned into a confrontation leading to a deadly attack between two co-workers. A wrongful death lawsuit was recently filed in a local court against the two companies responsible for arranging the meeting.
The victim, 34, was shot in the abdomen and pronounced dead at a local hospital. During the meeting, the alleged assailant, 47, physically fought with the victim before shooting him. The victim had been instructed to speak with the assailant at the meeting about inappropriate behavior on the job. Both men worked for gas-industry companies that conducted on-site repairs for regional gas wells. The suit, filed by the victim's widow and two children, is requesting compensation for medical and funeral expenses and other losses totaling more than $25,000.
Wrongful death suits typically address these kinds of losses to cover the financial damages resulting from the death. A suit might also consider loss of income, loss of companionship or other support and even a lost prospect of inheritance.
A suit can be filed against any person or company that caused a death due to negligence or misconduct, whether or not there are criminal charges filed as well. In the North Fayette case involving the two co-workers, pending criminal charges did not block the victim's civil lawsuit. The alleged assailant is also being held on charges of homicide and aggravated and simple assault. These legal disputes will likely continue for some time.
Source: Tribune-Review, "Civil suit filed against gas-industry companies over North Fayette death," Adam Brandolph, Sept. 4, 2012