The widow of a painter, who died when he fell 150 feet from a water tower recovered a verdict of $10 million from a Russell County, Alabama jury. Erica Dupree, the widow, sued her husband’s employer, a contractor, a Montgomery engineering firm, and the Russell County Water Authority, contending the Defendants failed to proved safe working conditions that led to her husband’s fatal fall in 2008. The worker, Christopher Dupree, was killed in 2008 when he fell about 150 feet while helping paint a water tank in Hurtsboro, Alabama.
The painting company, water authority and engineering firm were dismissed as Defendants before the trial. The lawsuit was amended to focus on the construction company because, as the general contractor on the project, it was responsible for workplace safety. There was an investigation by OSHA and it found safety violation at the water tank work site. Jurors were asked to return a verdict that would send a message to all employers that they must provide a safe working environment for employees.