Bridge worker's family files wrongful death suit

Ann Knef Jun. 13, 2006, 11:02am

The survivor of a sandblaster who fell to his death from the Jefferson Barracks Bridge into the Mississippi River, is suing the St. Louis Bridge Co.

Tammy Belfield, adminstrator of James D. Belfield's estate, claims the defendant failed to maintain a safe place to work, failed to ensure that proper safety equipment was being used, failed to ensure OSHA and Corps of Engineers standards were being met and failed to inspect safety tethers and cables.

James Belfield was employed by Thomas Industrial Group, a bridge project subcontractor. The incident occurred on Feb. 17 as he was sandblasting the bridge's underside.

According to the suit filed June 9 in St. Clair County Circuit Court, James Belfield drown.

"...the Decedent's next of kin have been deprived of the reasonable value of his services, companionship, comfort, instruction, guidance, counsel, training, love and support that they would have received had the Decedent not died," the complaint states.

Represented by Joseph A. Bartholomew of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin of Belleville, Belfield is seeking in excess of $50,000 in damages plus costs of the suit.

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