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Family of Seattle construction worker files wrongful death lawsuit

The family of a man who died in a Seattle construction accident in 2018 has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against 3M.

The man died after falling 35 feet while working on the East Link Extension light rail project. He fell to the ground after losing his balance while trying to secure a beam and later was pronounced dead at a hospital.

In the lawsuit, which is now before the federal court in Seattle, the family contends that the man fell because a 3M-manufactured part that was supposed to secure his harness didn’t. At issue is the fact that the safety line became frayed after it came into contact with a beveled slab edge. According to the lawsuit, the line lacked a warning that workers should not use it around beveled edges.

Late last year, the state Department of Labor and Industries issued a warning that safety lines can tear when they touch the edges of steel surface or concrete decks. The hazard warning included an advisory from manufacturers that certain edges could damage the safety lines and fail to stop a fall.

In a statement about the lawsuit, 3M said that it sent its condolences to the man’s friends and family but that it is not liable because the product wasn’t defective. The statement said, “We stand behind our products and remain committed to providing high quality fall protection solutions for workers.”

If a loved one has died and you believe that an individual or company bears responsibility, you should talk with an experienced attorney to determine what your legal options are.