Slips, trips, and falls are the most common causes of injuries or deaths on construction sites, and technicians are constantly reminded of that danger in tailgate sessions, stand-downs, and training. However, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in every primary industry, and one of the critical factors, according to multiple studies said, human error was the primary contributor in over 90 percent of the collisions, with inattentiveness being the leading cause of deaths.
Last Thursday, a Gwinnett County, Georgia state court jury found that a Comcast technician was inattentive when he shot through a red light at a major intersection in Douglasville on June 30, 2021, in his 2019 Chevrolet Express G2500 work van and broadsided the driver’s side of a 2003 Dodge Caravan driven by then 76-year-old Amos Entrekin Jr.
According to court testimony, Entrekin’s van flipped over and rolled before crashing into a utility box at the intersection of Dallas Highway and Ellis Street.
He spent six days in a medically-induced coma and two weeks in the hospital, later receiving more rehab and therapy before his death. He died from his injuries on March 11, 2023, at age 78.
The jury unanimously awarded Entrekin’s family almost $19 million, $11,500,000 for pain and suffering, $7 million for the full value of life, and $477,696 for medical expenses to be paid by the driver, Sylvain Emmanuel-Mukete, and Comcast of the South, LLC.
It was alleged that Comcast was negligent in entrusting a company vehicle to Emmanuel-Mukete and “knew that Defendant Mukete was incompetent and/or habitually reckless to properly operate the 2019 Chevrolet Express G250 (SIC) …”.
Comcast is possibly self-insured, but if Emmanuel-Mukete was employed by a mid-sized or small wireless contractor, it is likely that their vehicle insurance policy would not be renewed, and possibly all lines of insurance would be dropped.
In the past, companies that have had multiple serious vehicle accidents and were dropped found their per-vehicle coverage in the non-standard market escalated to $25,000 or more, an industry insurer informed Wireless Estimator.