Feds to investigate deadly scaffolding collapse

Six hurt in incident released from hospital

Scaffolding collapse

RIO RANCHO, N.M. (KRQE) – Federal investigators are expected on scene Wednesday at Rust Medical Center in Rio Rancho trying to determine the cause of Tuesday’s deadly scaffolding collapse. It happened at the massive expansion project at the hospital.

One worker was killed, seven others hurt. Six of the injured workers have been released from the hospital while another remains at UNM Hospital.

“We continue to pray for his quick recovery and for the families and friends of everyone who was impacted by the accident yesterday,” said Bo Calbert, president of McCarthy Building Companies Southwest, the contractor on the project.

The St. Louis-based company is not releasing the identity of the worker who was killed.

In statements to KRQE News 13 Wednesday, the contractor said it was saddened by the collapse saying it was uncommon for the company.

“An incident like this is something that we have worked hard to avoid by implementing safety policies that are above and beyond national standards, earning McCarthy an incident rate four-times lower than the construction industry average,” Calbert said.

However, court records obtained by KRQE News 13 show the company’s safety record in New Mexico is not spotless.

In 2005, a worker employed by a subcontractor fell several stories at the construction site where Sandia Hotel and Casino was being built. He sued McCarthy for negligence but that lawsuit was dismissed in 2013.

Another lawsuit filed last year claims a blind 14-year-old student at Los Lunas High School tripped over construction materials and equipment McCarthy workers had left inside the school. She broke her ankle and foot. While that case is pending, an attorney for the plaintiff tells KRQE News 13 the case is expected to be settled.

There are two separate personal injury claims that were filed against both Presbyterian and McCarthy. One of those was dismissed while another was settled out of court.

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