Widow sues construction company | AspenTimes.com

Widow sues construction company

Chad Abraham

The wife of a roofer killed while working on a Woody Creek home in 2003 is suing the construction company in charge of building the residence.The lawsuit of Belen Garcia, the widow of Everardo Garcia-Lopez, says Fenton Construction was negligent and violated Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations. The lawsuit was filed Nov. 5 in Pitkin County District Court.Lopez, 25, was killed on Nov. 11, 2003, when the plywood box platform he and another worker were on collapsed and fell 22 feet. The other worker was seriously injured, and a third employee standing on a balcony below the box was also hurt.Fenton Construction was the general contractor on the project at the Circle-R Ranch. Lopez and the other two injured employees were working for European Roofing Designs.Later that month, OSHA cited the roofing company for three violations and fined it $4,200. Fenton was fined $2,100 for one violation.The plywood box was open-aired and open on one side so the men could work on the roof. A telescoping forklift held it up.European Roofing Designs and Fenton Construction were both cited for failing to ensure the platform was safe and for exposing the employees to the fall. The roofing firm was also cited for not ensuring that the forklift driver was properly trained.A Fenton spokeswoman declined to comment about the lawsuit. Garcia’s lawyer did not return a message.The lawsuit says the platform was a “trash box” that was strapped to the elevated forklift.Garcia and her two children received workers’ compensation benefits, the lawsuit says. As a result of Lopez’s death, she and her family have suffered economic damages, including lost earnings, lost earning capacity and funeral and burial expenses, according to the court papers.Additionally, the lawsuit says Garcia has suffered grief, loss of companionship, an impaired quality of life, pain, suffering and emotional stress.She is asking for a jury trial.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is chad@aspentimes.com

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