Skip to main content

Builders of US Bank Stadium face fines over worker's death

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

An investigation into the death of a construction worker at U.S. Bank Stadium has led to fines against the main contractor and a sub contractor of the construction project.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's investigation led to fines against M.A. Mortenson Co. and Berwald Roofing & Sheet Metal in the death of Berwald employee Jeramie Gruber, 35, of Northfield.

Gruber died in August of 2015 after he fell 50 feet while working on the stadium. He was one of two workers who fell during the incident – the other worker was not identified, but was seriously injured, suffering a gash on his leg that required 48 stitches.

OSHA levied a $34,300 fine against Golden Valley-based Mortenson for a "serious" violation of general safety and health provisions. Subcontractor Berwald Roofing was fined for three violations totaling $139,100:

  • $70,000 for a "willful" violation of fall protection system requirements
  • $44,100 for a "serious" violation of general safety and health provisions
  • $25,000 for a "serious" violation of OSHA's general duty clause

Neither Mortenson nor Berwald have said whether or not a safety harness was worn by either Gruber or the other worker. Berwald does have some history of safety violations related to workers not using safety harnesses though.

According to the Star Tribune, Berwald received nine worksite citations for serious violations during six inspections over the five years preceding the accident at the stadium. The company faced fines totaling more than $12,500.

The Business Journal notes that both companies are contesting the penalties.

Mortenson's Senior Vice President John Wood issued a statement on Wednesday.

"Mortenson continues to work with OSHA regarding a final determination relative to its citation. We were and remain deeply saddened by this terrible accident and understand how devastating it has been for all those affected by it, especially the families involved. At Mortenson, safety is a core value and we are committed to eliminating the risk of injury on all of our projects. We will never lose that focus and we will continue to ensure it is the foremost priority."

Construction attorney Bob Huber told Finance and Commerce that in cases like this one the family often sues for negligence after the official investigation is concluded. Huber says employers often don't want to acknowledge an OSHA violation because it could be used against them in a lawsuit.

Next Up

ATV

Little Falls man killed in ATV crash over holiday weekend

The 55-year-old apparently lost control and was partially ejected from the vehicle on Sunday.

Ellie Ragin

Police chief reveals new details in 'heartbreaking' search for Elle Ragin

Police reveal new details that led investigators to Stearns County.

Subway Series new menu

Subway overhauling menu, offering 1M free subs on July 12

The "Subway Series" menu change is set to take over beginning July 12.

Reader-submitted video taken of people throwing fireworks at people and cars on July 4, 2022.

Watch: Fireworks fired at people, buildings in downtown Minneapolis

Footage shared widely on social media shows chaotic scenes downtown on Fourth of July evening.

Ellie Ragin

Search for missing Elle Ragin shifts to park in Stearns County

Mississippi River County Park is closed to the public until further notice.

storm, severe weather, derecho

Developing derecho likely to blast southwest Minnesota

Damaging winds up to 90 mph are the main threat.

Screen Shot 2022-07-05 at 12.29.03 PM

Two Minneapolis restaurants announce closures

It's the end of the line for Pie & Mighty and Bunny's Bar & Grill.

Grape Jelly

Someone is sending St. Paul resident unsolicited grape jelly

A resident said they received a large number of deliveries containing only jars of jelly.

Braxton Sorenson

Family identifies 15-year-old bicyclist killed by suspected drunk driver

A GoFundMe page has been created to support his family.

McKinley Phillips

Woodbury man sentenced to life for killing wife as her kids watched movie

A jury found McKinley J. Phillips, 40, guilty in less than 24 hours last week in Washington County.

storm, severe

Severe storms in South Dakota could blast into Minnesota Tuesday

Storms are blasting through northern South Dakota Tuesday mid-morning.

Screen Shot 2022-07-05 at 9.19.07 AM

Missing Minnesotan's boat washes ashore on island in middle of Atlantic

Joseph Matthew Johnson has been missing since November.

Related