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Construction site employee dies in work accident

On Oct. 14, a steel company employee in Northern California was killed while working on the construction site of the future San Francisco 49ers' football stadium. Workers have been trying to rapidly complete the project at Levi's Stadium, but a co-director for the project adamantly stated that the speed of the work was unrelated to the employee's death. Although talks have frequently surfaced that the San Diego Chargers may eventually move to Los Angeles, no football stadiums are planned for construction in the largest U.S. city without a football team.

The 60-year-old victim died after being struck by a rebar, which fell on him as he was delivering materials to the construction site. Santa Clara police confirmed that the death was "accidental."

The death of the Gerdau Ameristeel employee was the second in four months to have taken place at Levi Stadium. On June 11, a 63-year-old mechanic died after being struck by an elevator. Investigators determined that the mechanic was aware that the elevator was in motion and knowingly stayed in the elevator pit. The mechanic's employer, Schindler Elevator Corporation, will not be fined or cited in connection with the death.

Employers may still be responsible for making payments to employees or their families in the event of a workplace accident, even if the employer is not found to be at fault. Under workers' compensation plans, companies pay their employees for accidents that occur on the job. If an employee with workers' comp dies as a result of a workplace accident, the family of that employee may recover weekly compensation from the employer. A workers' compensation attorney may be consulted to help seek the amount owed if an employee or an employee's family has difficulty obtaining payments from a company.

Source: NBC Bay Area, "Steel Company Driver Dies at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara", Lisa Fernandez, October 15, 2013

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