CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The Ohio Department of Transportation is partially blaming Brandon Carl, the man killed in the Hopple Street overpass collapse, for his own death.
In a response to a lawsuit filed by the victim's family, ODOT claims Carl "assumed the risk of his injuries and death," and "was contributorily negligent."
Carl's parents accuse ODOT of negligence and carelessness in the overpass demolition.
Carl, 35, was operating a backhoe when the bridge collapsed on Jan. 19. His employer, Columbus-based Kokosing Construction Company, had been contracted to demolish the overpass as part of a highway widening project.
ODOT also placed blame on a third party for Carl's death. The unnamed party's negligence "may have been the sole, proximate or contributing cause of injury," the response states.
FOX19 NOW's legal analyst Mike Allen said ODOT's response to the family's claims are fairly standard, including that Carl may have been negligent.
Officials with ODOT declined to comment due to the pending lawsuit. Attorneys for Sharon Frye and Charles Carl also refused to discuss the case.
Federal officials cited and fined Kokosing Construction Company for failing to fully inspect the 51-year-old Hopple Street overpass before demolition. The bridge surface "was not of sufficient strength to support the equipment due to an engineering error," according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration citation filed June 15.
OSHA proposed a $14,000 fine for the violations.
Carl, a resident of Augusta, Kentucky, was engaged to be married and had four children.