The inventor of a beer-dispensing system called Draftwell died in what appears to have been a preventable accident, and now the widow is filing a wrongful death lawsuit. The incident took place in SunTrust Park, which North Carolina residents may know is the home ballpark of the Atlanta Braves. The man had installed Draftwell in two other Major League Baseball stadiums and was going to install it in SunTrust Park. Draftwell was supposed to reduce the average pour time for beer from 14 seconds to 5 seconds.
Working overnight to install the system before a game day, the man died in a concession stand beer cooler when a carbon dioxide leak asphyxiated him. He was found dead the next day. There was no sign of him trying to use the door or his cellphone, the reason being the disorientation caused by the gas.
The widow is suing both the builders and the Atlanta Braves, alleging that they knew about certain issues with the door release mechanisms to the stadium's coolers. In particular, the builders had received an email about this prior to the incident yet failed to do anything about it.
The widow is seeking compensation for loss of support, funeral expenses, mental anguish and more. Representatives for the Atlanta Braves have declined to comment.
The chances of recovering adequate compensation in a wrongful death case may go up when one hires an attorney. There are many challenges that plaintiffs will likely face: The defendant's own legal team could work hard to deny payment or force plaintiffs to agree to a low settlement. It may also require experts to obtain proof of negligence. Attorneys who work in personal injury and wrongful death may have a network of investigators and other third parties to obtain evidence.