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Worker Safety At Issue On New Vikings' Stadium

As US Bank Stadium nears completion, the recent discovery of a leaky roof represents a setback for not only the team, but also Berwald Roofing Co., the subcontractor responsible for fixing the problem.

Tragically, replacing a large portion of the stadium's roof is not the least of the problems facing the company. On August 26, 2015, 35-year-old Jeramie Gruber, an employee of the subcontractor, fell fifty feet to his death. A second worker suffered serious injuries.

Amidst the hype and anticipation, the early history of the Minnesota Vikings' new home includes a tragic chapter.

Berwald has a history of its own. Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the company nine times for worksite safety violations in the past five years, including failure to use safety harnesses at elevated worksites.

Co-owner Eugene Berwald claimed that his company -- awarded a $3.4 million dollar contract for the stadium project -- emphasizes on-the-job safety. He also acknowledged the challenges in controlling workers' actions, but did not know if Gruber was wearing a safety lanyard.

Work has resumed as OSHA and Mortenson Construction, the general contractor for US Bank Stadium, continue their investigation. Mortenson senior vice president John Wood stressed that while an August 2016 deadline for completion looms, the company has a far different priority.

"We're not thinking about the construction schedule right now We're thinking about these two men and their families."

Hard-working construction professionals understand the risks they face on a daily basis. Suffering injuries can be life changing and career ending, requiring the help of a workers' compensation attorney.

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