Builders and other contractors have a responsibility to provide safe work. In legal terms, this is known as a duty of care. Recently, a jury in Georgia decided a company failed in its duty to protect a homebuilder. It awarded $17.9 million in a window fall death lawsuit.

Classic Millwork Designs Inc, was ordered to pay almost $17.9 million in the case, reported the Gwinnet Daily Post.

Wade Blackwell fell out of a window to his death in May 2015. Last November, a Gwinnett County jury decided work done by a company on window sashes was a factor in Blackwell’s death.

The trial concerned alleged problems with window sashes Classic Millwork Designs put in at an office building in Peachtree Corners.

Blackwell visited the office building to give a quote to its owner on the replacement of trim around the attic windows on May 1, 2015. He fell to his death through a window that gave way.

Attorneys acting for the family in the window fall death lawsuit said the jury recognized the carelessness of the window installer that failed to follow basic safety rules, the Post reported.

Blackwell was a homebuilder with a reputation in the community for his support of Brookwood’s softball team and the fastpitch softball community. His daughters played on the softball team, the jury heard.

Classic Millwork Design was hired to replace window sashes on the third floor of the office building at Peachtree Corners, the Post reported. Blackwell was hired to replace the rotting wood trim surrounding the windows.

Last July, Gwinnett County State Court Judge Joseph C. Iannazzone denied a request to dismiss the case. He wrote that Blackwell experienced problems with a sash on one of the windows when he tried to close it. A witness said that Blackwell appears to have stepped on a two-by-four in front of the window as he tried to close it.

The judge cited expert testimony. He said Blackwell either placed his hands on the upper sash and tried to put the top sash in place and the sash fell out or he lost his balance and hit the window knocking the sash out of its frame.

Window Fall Death Lawsuit Related to Sash Defect

The judge said in either scenario the window should have remained in place rather than falling out.

Faulty installation and improper work cause numerous accidents on building sites and other places every year in the United States. Fortunately, deaths from defective work are rare.

If you lose a loved one in a car accident, an industrial accident, a slip-and-fall or during a botched hospital procedure, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.

The loss of a family member causes short-term and long-term financial issues. Please contact the Law Office of Michael West in Newnan for more details.