Losing a loved one in any type of accident is tragic, but the death of a loved one may be especially difficult to handle if the accident could have easily been prevented. In August, a North Carolina woman was killed on the job while operating a lawnmower. Investigations of the incident concluded this month, revealing that the woman's employer had violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act of North Carolina.
The wrongful death of the Town of Wingate Public Works Department employee was the result of an accident that most likely could have been prevented. According to reports, the 48-year-old woman was mowing lawn along West Elm Street on a riding lawnmower. As she approached a slope, the lawnmower suddenly tipped over near a pile of brush, killing the woman.
Shortly after the woman's death, the North Carolina Department of Labor began its investigation. The department concluded that the woman was riding the lawnmower on a slope of 10 to 15 degrees. However, the "Bad Boy zero-turn commercial lawnmower" was only designed to handle a slope of no more than 5 degrees. Furthermore, the department asserted that the employee had never received proper training on how to operate the machine.
Earlier this month, the state announced that the town should be fined $2,100 for its misconduct that led up to the fatal accident. The town must pay the fine within 15 days of receipt if the citation is not contested. Penalties paid are distributed to public schools for educational purposes.
Losing a loved one in an accident that could have been prevented not only stirs feelings of anger and sadness, but families often suffer financial consequences as well from lost income, medical expenses and funeral expenses. For this reason, families may choose to file a wrongful death lawsuit in order to recover damages so that they may regain some financial stability after their tragic loss.
Source: wbtv, "Town fined by state after woman dies in lawnmower accident," Oct. 13, 2011