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Workplace accident results in fatal head-injury for young worker

A workplace accident has resulted in the death of an 18-year-old Smithsburg High School student last week. According to reports, the senior was riding atop some garbage bags in the back of a four-wheel-drive vehicle while working for the Hagerstown Suns at the Municipal Stadium. When the driver attempted a left-hand turn the student fell from the vehicle sustaining a head injury. Another person was riding in the front seat of the vehicle.

The victim was immediately taken by ambulance to a local hospital with what police believed to be a skull fracture. He was transferred to a hospital in Washington, D.C. where he later died. Maryland Occupational Safety and Health officials learned of the accident from the media and launched an investigation into the matter, according to a spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Labor.

The Hagerstown Suns organization is a Single-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals, and a representative of the Suns said she did not know why the accident was not reported to the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health office. The investigation will remain confidential until it is complete.

In cases involving fatal workplace accidents a wrongful death suit can result. A wrongful death claim could help the family seek compensation for their loved one's medical expenses, funeral costs as well as pain and suffering. A wrongful death is the result of negligence, reckless or careless actions of another, including a company or legal entity such as a sports organization.

If the investigation finds there was negligence on behalf of the Suns organization or actions of one of its employees, the jury would consider a number of factors in a wrongful death suit, including the severity of the negligence, the age of the victim and the impact his or her loss will have on surviving family members.

The popular student was a seasonal employee of the Hagerstown Suns and played a variety of sports for his school, including football, lacrosse and wrestling.

Source:, "Smithsburg High senior has died following accident at Municipal Stadium," Dan Dearth, April 12, 2012

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