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$1,625,000 Settlement For Wrongful Death Of 69-Year-Old Security Guard Killed By Defective Sliding Security Gate

A 69-year-old security guard died while underneath a defective heavy rolling metal security gate that fell on him as he was closing the gate in a freight trucking yard in Modesto, California.

On October 21, 2017, a 69-year-old security guard died when a large defective sliding security gate fell on him as he was closing it in Modesto, California. A freight delivery company owned and maintained the large heavy metal rolling gate that weighed over 350 pounds. The security gate had to be manually pushed or pulled along a U-track in the pavement. The gate had to be manually opened and closed throughout the night to allow freight delivery trucks to enter and leave the facility. The freight company retained a security company to guard the trucking yard and to open and close the gate at night.

On October 21, 2017, a freight truck driver returned to the facility at night and saw that the gate had fallen on the guard and saw that he was not breathing. There were no witnesses to how the tragedy occurred.

We pursued a lawsuit against the freight delivery company that owned the gate and their out-of-state maintenance company and also against the local contractor who installed new rollers and wheels on the gate approximately 3 months before the gate fell. The gate repair contractor failed to adequately secure the rollers to the gate, causing the rollers to become loose and they could no longer hold the gate upright. The contractor also failed to install a tip-over post that would have prevented the gate from falling over.

Through extensive discovery, our legal team proved the gate had long-standing documented issues with the rollers at the top of the gate that held the gate and with the steel wheel that ran along the track in the pavement.

The defendants contended that the security guard had a heart attack and pulled the gate over onto him as he was closing it. Because there were no witnesses to the accident, we had to prove how the gate fell by reconstructing the accident. Through cross-examination of the defense expert, we proved that the position of the guard’s body under the gate when he was discovered proved it could not have happened as the defendants claimed.

The guard lived with his wife and two of his adult children. He was married for 42 years and provided for his wife. He left behind his wife and 3 adult children who were very close to him.