Body of 6th Missing Worker in Baltimore Bridge Collapse Found, Class Action Filed

08 May, 2024 Liz Carey

                               

Baltimore, MD (WorkersCompensation.com) – Officials said they had found the body of the final victim in the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge, as companies in the area begin a class action lawsuit.

Authorities said they found the body of Jose Mynor Lopez, the sixth construction worker missing after the Baltimore bridge collapse into the Patapsco River at the end of March. Six weeks after the cargo ship Dali ran into the Key Bridge, striking a support beam and sending the bridge and a construction crew into the river, all of the men have been found, officials said. Crews are continuing to work on removing the wreckage to clear the shipping channel.

Lopez, of Guatemala, will likely be buried in his home country by his mother, a spokesman for the family said.

Also recovered in the weeks since the bridge collapse were Dorlian Castillo Cabrera, 26, originally from Guatemala; Maynor Suazo Sandoval, 38, originally from Honduras;  Alejandro Hernández Fuentes, 35, originally from Mexico; Carlos Daniel Hernandez, who was in his 20s and was originally from Mexico; and Miguel Ángel Luna González, 49 and originally from El Salvador.

The victims were part of a Brawner Builders crew filling pot holes in the early morning hours of March 26 when the bridge collapsed. They were later presumed dead and the operation shifted from rescue to recovery.

Jeffrey Pritzker, executive vice president of Brawner Builders, said at the time that the workers had company-sponsored life insurance. However, he declined to provide any details about the policies and said the company was offering financial assistance to the missing workers’ families.

"The company is doing everything possible to support the families and to counsel the families and to be with the families," Pritzker said at the time.

Since the bridge collapse, a class action lawsuit has been filed against the managers of the cargo ship Dali, Grace Ocean Private Ltd., and the ship’s manager, Synergy Marine Pte Ltd., knowingly allowed the Dali to leave the port despite being unseaworthy. The plaintiffs say this action negates an agreement the companies made weeks ago that their liability would be limited to $43.6 million.

So far, the class action suit includes a company, American Publishing LLC, a small business owned by a woman and her husband, which claims their April profits plummeted because of the bridge collapse. Filing it as a class action allows other businesses and individuals who were affected by the collapse to join the suit.

At least one surviving victim of the disaster, Julio Adrian Cervantes Suarez, and the families of Alejandro Hernandez Fuentes and Jose Lopez, have all retained attorneys from Steward Miller Simmons Trial Attorneys and Kreindler & Kreindler, although none of them had filed anything in court as of late April. Cervantes, Fuentes and Lopez all fell into the river after the bridge collapsed, but Cervantes was the only person to survive.

Roy Mason, one of the lead attorneys in the class action suit, told the Baltimore Sun that if a class action suit is certified it could include thousands of businesses and individuals in the region.

“It’s like the community has been stunned by what happened,” Mason said.

A spokesperson for Synergy Marine and Grace Ocean did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The news comes on the heels of the FBI and the U.S. attorney’s office in Maryland opening a criminal probe. Maritime attorney have also begun to partner with civil and government attorneys seeking accountability for the wreck and the bridge collapse.

In late April, attorneys for Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and the Baltimore City Council, on behalf of the city’s residents, filed documents in Maryland’s federal court that the bridge collapse was caused by “negligence of the vessel’s crew and shoreside management.”

And Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown said in a statement in April that his office has been “preparing for litigation” and has named a special assistant attorney general to lead that case.

An initial report from the National Transportation Safety Board is expected to be released this month.


  • AI artificial intelligence california case management case management focus claims cms compensability compliance courts covid do you know the rule exclusive remedy florida FMLA glossary check health care Healthcare iowa leadership medical medicare minnesota NCCI new jersey new york ohio osha pennsylvania Safety state info technology tennessee texas violence virginia WDYT west virginia what do you think women's history month workers' comp 101 workers' recovery workers' compensation contact information Workplace Safety Workplace Violence


  • Read Also

    About The Author

    • Liz Carey

      Liz Carey has worked as a writer, reporter and editor for nearly 25 years. First, as an investigative reporter for Gannett and later as the Vice President of a local Chamber of Commerce, Carey has covered everything from local government to the statehouse to the aerospace industry. Her work as a reporter, as well as her work in the community, have led her to become an advocate for the working poor, as well as the small business owner.

    Read More

    Request a Demo

    To request a free demo of one of our products, please fill in this form. Our sales team will get back to you shortly.