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UPDATE: Donato Lopes Gonsalez Died In Tree Trimming Electrocution Accident In Huntington Beach By Seaport Drive near Beam Circle


Aug 21, 2019

Donato Gonsalez Huntington Beach: Donato Lopes Gonsalez of Costa Mesa Died In Tree Trimming Electrocution Accident In Huntington Beach By Seaport Drive near Beam Circle

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIFORNIA (August 21, 2019) – A 39-year-old man from Costa Mesa identified as Donato Lopes Gonsalez has tragically died after being electrocuted by power lines while trimming palm trees by Seaport Drive near Beam Circle. 

Huntington Beach police are saying that Donato Lopes Gonsalez was removing a palm frond when it came into contact with a power line. A worker noticed the victim hanging from his safety harness and called 911. 

Paramedics rushed to the scene in order to help the victim. Despite life-saving efforts Donato Lopes Gonsalez was later pronounced dead due to his injuries. 

Cal / OSHA are continuing to investigate the accident. This tragedy comes just a few months after another worker died in nearly identical circumstances

Liability In Tree Trimming Accidents

Companies have a legal responsibility to take measures to prevent their workers from being injured or killed. This is especially important in high-risk fields like tree trimming. When the proper safety measures are put in place, incident rates tend to fall dramatically. Here are just a few of the measures that the California Department of Public Health requires to prevent tree trimmers from being electrocuted:

  • Employers should do a proper hazard assessment prior to work by a qualified tree worker.
  • Employers must ensure that qualified line clearance tree worker is used when tree trimming is done within ten feet of power lines.
  • Property managers and homeowners should only hire tree workers who are trained by the TreeCare Industry Association (TCIA) or the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

When a worker is killed on the job there are a number of laws designed to help the family of the victim.  According to the California Department of Industrial Relations Workers Compensation Guidebook, “If you get hurt on the job, your employer is required by law to pay for workers’ compensation benefits.” This includes providing death benefits to a worker’s dependents. What many workers and their families don’t realize is that the worker’s compensation system may not be their only recourse after an accident. 

If an entity separate from a worker’s employer contributed to an accident they could be held liable through a third party liability claim. Third party liability can be extremely complicated and such cases should be examined by a skilled premises liability attorney.  The family of any victim that died while trimming trees may be able to seek justice through California Code of Civil Procedure 377.60. Damages in a civil claim can help with funeral expenses, lost wages, medical bills and pain suffering. There are, however, statute of limitations associated with civil claims so it’s important to act quickly. 

Investigating A Huntington Beach Tree Trimming Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our deepest condolences to the family of Donato Lopes Gonsalez as they are going through such a difficult time. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened. Was there a proper hazard assessment prior to this tragedy? These types of accidents are often preventable and should not happen. It is important that measures are put in place to prevent additional accidents like this. 

If you or someone that you love has been involved in a tree trimming accident there are a number of laws designed to protect your rights. Our team of personal injury attorneys are here to answer any legal questions that you may have. We are committed to making sure that accident victims are aware of their rights and that steps are taken to make workplaces safer. Whether you need a free, independent investigation into an accident or just have questions about the law we are here for you. You’re always welcome to reach out to us anytime at (888) 888-9285.

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