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William Casdorph Killed In Accident After Fall From Freeway Overpass On State Route 163 In San Diego


Sep 21, 2018

Caltrans Worker William Casdorph Died In Accident After Falling From Highway Overpass On State Route 163 in the Kearny Mesa Region of San Diego

 SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (September 20, 2018) – A 57-year-old Caltrans Worker identified as William Casdorph has died in an accident after falling several stories from a freeway overpass on State Route 163.

San Diego police are saying that William Casdorph was working on the southbound State Route 163 highway by the connector ramp to Interstate 185.

The victim was doing landscape and sweeping work when he fell 50 feet off of the overpass and into a grassy area around 3:35 a.m.

William Casdorph worked for Caltrans for the past 19-years. He is survived by his wife and three daughters.

Governor Jerry Brown released a statement following the accident describing William Casdorph as a dedicated public servant who worked to make the roads safer.

An investigation into the Caltrans accident remains ongoing at this time.

Highway Maintenance Worker Safety

Highway maintenance workers must deal with a variety of hazards as they go to work everyday. They must contend with speeding cars just a few feet away and all sorts of potential hazards by the side of the road. Accidents in highway work zones have generally increased over time as our roads have gotten busier. In 1995, 789 workers died and in 2000 that number rose to 1,093. An additional 40,000 workers are seriously injured annually. There are a number of measures that Caltrans and other companies/government entities can take to help keep their workers safe.

  • Training: Workers should be properly trained how to stay safe by the side of the road. This includes making sure that Caltrans trucks slow down and pull into emergency lanes without causing an accident.

  • Inspections: Supervisors should oversee the work of Caltrans employees to make sure regulations are being followed. For example, workers should be dressed in high-visibility apparel.

  • Safety Gear: Workers who must complete their jobs on elevated surfaces should be provided with safety equipment to prevent falls. According to OSHA regulations, workers should be provided with fall protection gear when they are 6 feet or more off the ground.

Highway maintenance accidents can leave workers with debilitating injuries and high medical bills. In many situations workers (or their families) may have multiple routes in order to recover damages.

Liability In Highway Maintenance Accidents

Generally speaking, when a worker is injured or killed in California they will be able to file a claim for worker’s compensation. California is a no-fault state, so it doesn’t necessarily matter if the worker contributed to their accident in some way. Workers are barred by statute from suing their employers directly. However, any injured worker could possibly file a negligence claim against a third party that contributed to the accident. General contractors and separate construction companies could be found negligent if they failed to keep a work area safe.

Moreover, when a third party violates Cal-OSHA safety regulations they may be found responsible through a legal doctrine known as negligence per se. Under negligence per se, the burden of proof is lower for the plaintiff bringing a claim. A defendant’s mere violation of a Cal-OSHA regulation or other statute may be sufficient in establishing  negligence. Workplace accidents are often very complex and may involve a mesh of different laws or regulations. It’s best to seek the advice of an experienced personal injury attorney that can evaluate your case.

Getting Help After An Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers offer our deepest condolences to the family of William Casdorph as they grieve such an incredible loss. It is imperative that there is a thorough investigation in order to determine what went wrong. Fall protection gear is commonly available and can be instrumental in preventing falls. We hope that changes are made so that something similar doesn’t happen to another Caltrans worker.

Have you or someone that you care about been injured in a workplace accident. Our team of highly compassionate and experienced personal injury lawyers are here to help with whatever you need. We are proud to have represented families all across California and we’re committed to getting our clients the best outcome possible after an accident. Whether you just have questions about your rights or are seeking legal counsel for your situation we’re always here to help you (888) 888-9285.

Sources:

  1. FindLaw Staff. Increased Liability To Third Parties From Cal-OSHA Violations. 2018

  2. Cornell Law School Staff. negligence per se. 2018

  3. Justia Staff. Construction Site Falls. 2018

  4. CBS Staff. Caltrans worker dies after falling from I-805 overpass in Kearny Mesa. September 19, 2018

  5. EHS Today Staff. Conquering the Dangers of Highway Work Zones. September 20, 2018

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