Last Tuesday, a worker tragically died after the excavator he was operating fell about 200 feet down a ravine near Leland Hill Road in Sutton, Massachusetts. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Apparently, the worker was working along the embankment leveling the property off and moving fill into the ravine. It is unclear from reports what caused the excavator to fall.

Although work-related accidents such as this one are unfortunately common, it is often not an easy task to determine who is legally responsible for a worker’s injuries. Work-sites often have multiple contractors and trades with specialized experience performing work at different phases of a project. Each contractor in the chain of command is responsible for performing their tasks in a way that ensures the safety of the other workers. Even after a potentially responsible party is identified, it is highly unlikely they will willingly admit to liability. Prompt investigation can be critical in preserving evidence and identifying the responsible parties involved.

To further complicate matters, under Massachusetts law, employers who provide their employees with workers’ compensation insurance have immunity from lawsuits by their own employees hurt on the job. However, third parties who caused or contributed to the worker’s injuries can be found liable. Third parties involved in construction site accidents can range from general contractors who delegate work to subcontractors, to sub-sub contractors who negligently cause a dangerous condition on the site. If an employee was hurt at work because of the actions (or inactions) of a contractor, subcontractor, supervisory entity, or faulty work equipment, they may be able to bring a claim for damages or wrongful death. READ MORE about Construction Site Accidents and Safety Violations.

If you or a family member have been hurt or injured on the job, you should talk to a lawyer. SUGARMAN attorneys will give you straight answers about your potential claim, and the best way to seek compensation while holding the appropriate people responsible. For more information or assistance regarding work-related injuries and third-party liability claims, call SUGARMAN at 617-542-1000 or email