Widow of Pipeline Worker Killed in 2016 Accident Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Georgia Company
The widow of a man who died in an explosion while working on a pipeline in 2016 filed a wrongful death lawsuit against his Georgia-based employer.
In the lawsuit, the woman blames Colonial Pipeline, based in Alpharetta, Georgia, for her husband’s death and alleges negligence on the part of the company. She filed the claim in Fulton County Court in July.
The accident occurred in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama, in October 2016. Crews were working on excavating a section of the pipeline when it suddenly exploded. According to the lawsuit, a project inspector failed to show up the day of the explosion, but the company gave the order to move ahead with the work anyway.
The explosion resulted in the death of Bill Whatley, whose widow filed this suit, and one other worker. The accident also resulted in a fuel shortage across the southeastern United States.
Georgia’s wrongful death statute of limitations
For wrongful death cases, Georgia has a statute of limitations of two years after the date of death for the family or personal representative of the victim to file the claim. If no one files a claim within that time limit, the court will almost always throw out a lawsuit that comes in after the statute of limitations expires.
The surviving spouse and children of the deceased have the first right to bring a wrongful death claim against the alleged negligent party. If no surviving spouse or child can do so, the claim may be brought by the surviving parent(s) or the personal representative of the deceased’s estate.
For more information on filing a wrongful death lawsuit in Georgia, meet with an experienced personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Melvin S. Nash. Call the firm at 470.655.2839 or contact us online.