On Friday, December 19, 2008, a walkway being built to give visitors an elevated view of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens turned into a disaster zone when it suddenly collapsed, sending workers plummeting as much as 40 feet to the ground below. One worker was killed Friday morning and at least 18 others injured, some critically according to published reports. Reports indicate that several people suffered injuries, including spinal injuries, that may result in life-long consequences.
Safety rules designed to prevent this type of tragedy exist. For example, architects and engineers are required to design structures such as bridges to standards that do not unnecessarily endanger workers, and ultimately, men, women and children who may walk across the bridge. In addition, the construction materials used to build the bridge must be able to withstand the weight and stresses placed on the bridge, both during and after the completion of construction. Workers from different companies must adhere to safety policies designed to prevent injuries to other workers.
The safety of the public is paramount and safety rules must be followed to make sure that innocent people are not endangered or harmed. Hopefully, the results of the investigation being conducted will answer the question of how this tragedy could have been avoided. Under our system of justice, those who through negligence or carelessness cause harms and losses should be held fully accountable. Our system is designed to make sure that the responsibility for such losses, including medical expenses and other damages, is not unfairly placed upon an injured individual, his health insurance company or the state. A failure to impose accountability encourages carelessness and lack of safety – something that cannot be tolerated.
Personally submitted by civil justice attorney Wayne Grant, recognized by his peers in Atlanta Magazine as a Georgia Super Lawyer.