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Widow claims wrongful death after husband dies in work accident

A 67-year-old man was working for a cement and construction company when he fell several feet and hit his head. He lost consciousness, but instead of calling 911, the man's boss allegedly ordered a drug test on the injured worker while he lay on the floor dying. The call to 911 was not made for several hours, even though the man worked for the Texas company for some 38 years and was set to retire within two weeks. The injured employee eventually died after being transported to a local hospital. Now the decedent's widow is suing the company for the wrongful death of her husband.

According to the lawsuit, while the man lay dying on the floor, his co-workers allegedly unzipped his pants and took a urine sample. The widow is suing for $15 million for actual and punitive damages. In addition to her wrongful death claim, the widow says the company was negligent in failing to train employees and in failing to provide proper equipment.

The company denies that calls to 911 were delayed as a result of the man being given a drug test. A company official claims that the ambulance was called after another employee noticed the decedent walking irregularly and was bleeding from his nose. In an interesting twist, one witness says cameras that may have recorded the incident were removed from the job site the next day.

At her late husband's funeral, the wife attempted to ask several of his co-workers about what happened on the job site. But the co-workers apparently refused to provide any details. Although some of the witnesses have allegedly been uncooperative in providing information, the discovery phase of the pending wrongful death lawsuit will likely result in depositions requiring sworn testimony under oath. Our readers in Mesquite may want to keep an eye on this case as the widow seeks justice for what appears to be an unjust act.

Source: ABC News, "Texas Widow Sues Firm for Giving Drug Test to Dying Husband," Susanna Kim, June 11, 2012

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