The widow of a Boeing Co. worker killed on the job has been awarded $8.8 million by a federal jury last Thursday.
Lisa Priester, whose husband was killed, filed the wrongful death lawsuit against SAR Automation, the company hired by Boeing to program the computer of the platform from which David Priester fell.
The Post and Courier reports that in March 2013, David Priester, 38, was working at the Dreamliner assembly plant and was using a mobile platform with 18 movable sliders. Three other Boeing employees were working on the platform, as well, placing plastic in the seams on the body of a Dreamliner.
SAR Automation’s responsibility was to program the computer with safety features such as warning lights and sirens to prevent accidents, but the company failed to activate them. Additionally, the platform sliders are supposed to extend with a gap no more than three inches from the aircraft’s barrel, but one slider failed to extend to its full length. Priester plummeted through the gap 18 feet onto a concrete floor. He later died of brain injuries due to the fall.
“In a modern manufacturing environment where hard-working employees depend on automated systems, manufacturers need to be held accountable if they do not complete the software design installations necessary to prevent killing workers,” said Lisa Priester’s attorney.
For Lisa, the verdict is a success not just for David, but also for other employees who have a right to expect safe working conditions.
“This verdict sends a message to employers that men and women deserve to work in a safe environment,” said Lisa Priester in a statement. “My hope is that this tragedy will result in better worker protection at Boeing and other manufacturers in South Carolina. On behalf of David’s family, I am so grateful that the jury vindicated David.”