A jury in Alabama awarded $10 million to a woman whose husband died in a workplace incident in 2008.
Christopher Dupree fell about 150 feet while painting a water tank in Hurtsboro, AL.
Paramedics tried to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The local sheriff’s department said Dupree was suspended from a rope on top of the water tower and was wearing a harness, but it appeared there might have been some malfunction of the safety equipment that caused the fall. Dupree was one of three workers at the tank that day.
At first, Dupree’s wife sued her husband’s employer, a general contractor, the Russell County Water Authority and an engineering firm. However, the lawsuit was later amended to focus on Robinson and Sons Construction Services, because it was responsible for workplace safety on the project.
In closing arguments, the lawyer for Dupree’s wife asked jurors to return a verdict that would send a message to all employers that they must provide a safe working environment for employees.