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Steelworker's Death

Columbia, NC: (Feb-27-08) The family of Christopher Tristan brought a wrongful death lawsuit against Prost Builders Inc., a frequent contractor for the City of Columbia, Vaughn Prost, president and owner of Prost Builders, and Pro Building Solutions Inc., after the steelworker was killed in a 2003 construction accident at the Columbia Transload Facility. The suit stated that in September 2003, Tristan, then 27, was working on the frame of the rail terminal that services the COLT Short Line Railroad on North Brown Station Road. He was connecting free standing steel columns when they collapsed, and he fell 30 feet. He was taken to University Hospital and remained in critical condition until he died from his injuries in October 2003. The family alleged that the collapse of the frame was the result of Prost Builders' and their contractors' various kinds of negligence, including not inspecting and securing the columns and foundations and not instructing employees on safe practices.

Records show that the parties reached a settlement, in which the defendants agreed to a $335,000 settlement to resolve claims. Tristan's father stated that Tristan amassed $800,000 in medical bills during his stay in the hospital, which were covered by Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance Company. Of the total $335,000 settlement, $140,000 was granted to the insurance company to settle a workers' compensation subrogation lien. Apart from legal fees, Tristan's father, Amador Tristan, who brought the suit, will receive $17,722, while Christopher Tristan's children, Jordan and Evie Lundahl, will receive $26,694 when they turn 18. [COLUMBIA MISSOURIAN: FATAL FALL]

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Published on Feb-28-08


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