Family of Man Killed in 2018 Tower Collapse Sues Missouri State University

September 17, 2020

The family of a worker killed in 2018 when a nearly 2,000-foot tall TV tower in southwest Missouri collapsed is suing Missouri State University for wrongful death.

The April 19, 2018, tower collapse happened in Fordland, killing 56-year-old Steve Lemay, who ran a tower repair company in Blaine, Washington. Missouri State University owned the tower and used it for its Ozarks Public Television station.

The lawsuit says the university maintained a “dangerous condition” on its property that led to Lemay’s death, the Springfield News-Leader reported. Lemay’s family is asking for an unspecified amount in damages that include Lemay’s pain and suffering as well as medical, funeral and burial expenses. The lawsuit also names a South Carolina tower repair company that hired Lemay’s company to complete the work.

A federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration report on the fatal incident said the removal of key bolts during a bracing procedure caused a TV tower to collapse. The lawsuit says the supports provided to Lemay to complete the bracing work were incorrect, forcing Lemay’s crew to drill new bolt holes.

Lemay and five other workers were about 100 feet high when the structure collapsed. The other workers suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

A spokesperson for MSU told the News-Leader that the university does not comment on pending litigation.


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