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Suit filed over worker’s death during SF hospital construction

SANTA FE — The family of a young man who was killed in an accident during the construction of a new Santa Fe hospital last year has filed a wrongful death suit against the Albuquerque company contracted to do the electrical work.

Aiden McQuillan, 22, died in February 2018 after he was crushed between two large spools of electric wiring at the Presbyterian Santa Fe Medical Center building site.

McQuillan was working for National Electric Supply, which was a supplier to DKD Electric for the project, according to a lawsuit filed in Santa Fe District Court this week. McQuillan was delivering large rolls of copper wire for DKD around 8 a.m. Feb. 8, 2018.

The lawsuit says a forklift was used in past deliveries to the site “because the wire spools frequently weighed in excess of a ton and were difficult to handle without the assistance of industrial machinery such as a forklift.”

Once McQuillan got to the site, a supervisor told McQuillan that workers would attempt to lift the spools manually from the flatbed truck instead of using a forklift, the suit says.

“During the course of unloading, Mr. McQuillan became caught between two large rolls of electric wire crushing him resulting in his death,” the lawsuit states.

The suit says DKD deviated from well-recognized construction practices and standards while unloading of the copper wires and did not properly train its employees to unload wire spools without injuring themselves or other workers.

A woman who answered the phone at DKD Tuesday said the company has no comment and that CEO Dee Dennis III was out of town.

The New Mexico Environment Department’s Occupational Health and Safety Bureau started an investigation after McQuillan died and eventually cited National Electric Supply $2,000 for a “serious” violation, according to NMED documents. McQuillan’s father, Dennis McQuillan is the NMED’s chief scientist.

Santa Fe lawyer and New Mexico Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth is Aiden McQuillan’s personal representative.

The family is asking a jury to award punitive damages.