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Settlement reached in fatal fall from water tower project

The family of a Bates County iron worker who died in May 2017 after falling more than 25 feet from a water tower reached a mediated settlement of $2.5 million.

According to the complaint, which was initially filed in Saline County before being moved to neighboring Lafayette County, Scot Lesmeister was helping build a Marshall Municipal Utilities water treatment facility in Malta Bend. He lost his footing after his tool broke while erecting the rebar grid, causing the horizontal bar above him to deflect and leading to the hooks of his fall arrest system to become undone from the bar.

Lesmeister suffered blunt force injuries to his head and torso. He briefly survived following his injuries before being pronounced dead.

The suit alleged that the defendants failed to implement and enforce the Marshall Municipal Utilities Contractor Safety Program on the project, which had been enacted by the utility over three years before Lesmeister’s death and “was one of the conditions of the contract between the utility and the general contractor hired to construct the new facilities.”

“The program obligated the utility to designate a site representative for each contractor that came on site and to ensure that each contractor was engaged in worksite safety,” said plaintiff’s attorney Todd Johnson.

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