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Investigating who caused the manlift to collapse is critical. It must happen before the lift mysteriously “disappears.” The families/widows of these two men deserve to be treated fairly for this horrible loss.

On July 19th, ironworkers Tyler Kahle and Craig Bagley were killed in Nome, when their manlift collapsed under them. Newspaper accounts report that two were working for Alaska Mechanical Inc., a contractor building the Rock Creek mine and milling facilities operated by Alaska Gold Co., a NovaGold Resources Inc. subsidiary. Here is what their widows/families need to know about Alaskan law…

The widows have two (2) claims under Alaskan law: (1) a worker’s compensation claim (about worthless); and (2) a claim against whomever was supported to maintain the manlift. It is presently unknown if the collapse occurred due to operator error or a mechanical problem, according to troopers. Hence, the first thing to determine is “Who was operating the manlift?” The second thing to determine is “Who employed that responsible worker?” The widows/families of these two men have claims against whomever was responsible for ensuring their safety on that manlift.

Recent changes in Alaska’s worker’s compensation law have made claims like this MUCH harder to pursue. It is absolutely imperative that the widows/families of these two men immediately contact a qualified personal injury attorney to help them sort out responsibility. The OSHA report will be helpful, but the manlift must be examined ASAP, before it “disappears.” Claims may be filed pursuant to Alaska Statute 09.55.570 (survivor claims) and Alaska Statute 09.55.580 (wrongful death claims).

Under Alaskan law, file the worker’s compensation claim ASAP. Then, get ahold of an attorney to help you investigate other claims that might exist. The investigation is usualy inexpensive. And, if the attorney accepts the case he/she will normally include the investigation charge as part of his/her contingent fee. You thus have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Find an attorney right now.

God bless both of the widows/famiies of these two men. This appears to be a needless accident that must never be repeated. Find out who is responsible – now.

For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Workplace Injuries and Discrimination.

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