A tree trimmer who was working in Sherman Oaks, CA, died on the afternoon of April 9 after he was found suspended upside down about 50 feet above the ground.
According to a KTLA news report, the fatal work accident occurred in the 3300 block of North Coldwater Canyon Avenue in Sherman Oaks. Officials received reports of an unconscious tree trimmer who was hanging upside down high in the air.
Tree Trimmer Death: Workplace Accident Investigation in Sherman Oaks
Firefighters and search and rescue crews arrived on the scene and used a truck-mounted ladder and rope and harness system to safely remove the tree trimmer from his prone position. After they were safely able to bring him to the ground, it was discovered that he was “beyond medical help” and was declared dead at the scene. Los Angeles Fire Department officials said the cause of the worker’s death is still under investigation.
There were live electric wires near the tree where the man was working. However, it is not known at this time if electrocution or electric shock played a part in his death. It is also not clear what company the tree trimmer was working for or what specific work he was conducting at the worksite before his death. An investigation into the man’s death is still ongoing, and Cal/OSHA will investigate the apparent workplace accident.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of the deceased worker for their tragic loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
Tree trimmers who are injured on the job can seek workers’ compensation benefits from their employers, which typically cover medical expenses and a portion of the lost wages. Families of deceased victims might be eligible to receive death benefits if the worker was killed in the workplace or on duty. However, in California, these benefits are woefully inadequate for compensating workers who have suffered catastrophic injuries or permanent disabilities or families who have lost loved ones on the job.
In addition to workers’ compensation, injured victims and their families may be able to file a third-party claim against a party other than an employer. This might include a negligent property owner who failed to keep the premises safe or the manufacturer of a defective product that caused or contributed to the worker’s injuries. In the case of this tragic tree trimmer accident, an attorney can help the family explore all of their options at what is a terrible and devastating time.
An experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer will be able to guide workers and families through their legal rights and options in fatal work accident cases.