A year after a 27-year-old construction worker was run over by a bulldozer, the family is suing two parties they believe were responsible for his death.
Justin Smith died Oct. 7, 2015, while working at the construction site of Aura @ 4th Apartments when the bulldozer backed over him. Albert Kimball, 37, was operating the machine.
Smith was at the site to move a water evacuation pump. Kimball was there for a separate task of excavating land.
Smith worked for RAB Foundation Repair, also known as API Services.
Kimball was employed by Central Site Development, which owned the bulldozer.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the accident and levied a $6,700 fine on Central. The fine was based on hazardous conditions set by the company, such as having employees work close to traffic and construction equipment.
Although a fine has been issued, the case is still open.
Personal representatives of Smith’s estate and guardians of his three daughters are Paula Rego and Karen Patterson. Rego is the guardian of Hailey and Jalynn Smith. Karen is the guardian of Kylee Smith.
The family is requesting a jury trial for damages of more than $15,000 in the suit filed Nov. 3.
Central Site Development and Kimball are being sued for negligence and wrongful death. A result of the loss of their father, the three girls lost parental companionship, instruction and guidance, and will suffer mentally. The estate lost the accumulation of money, medical and funeral expenses, and future support.
The suit states that prior reports claim Kimball was recklessly operating the bulldozer. Central was negligent by not supervising Kimball after the claims, choosing to ignore the reports, and failing to have procedures in place to prevent recklessness at a job site.
API spoke out about the accident immediately after it happened on its Facebook page:
Smith had a record with the law, having served three years in prison from 2009-2011 for four offenses. He was arrested by the Pasco County Sheriff’s office six times since 2006, and had been out of prison since July 2013.
Aura @ 4th Apartments are at 10980 Oak St. N.E. in St. Petersburg.