Pennsylvania Record

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Widow blames pipeline companies after husband killed by falling tree

State Court

By Charmaine Little | Aug 15, 2019

General court 07

PITTSBURGH - The wife of a man who was killed when a tree fell on him is suing two companies she blames for his death.

Amy Blough filed a lawsuit in July against Mountain Valley Pipeline LLC and Precision Pipeline LLC in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Blough’s husband, Jay Blough, was killed on March 25, 2018. On that day, he worked for Beeghly Tree Services LLC, which had a contract with MVP and Precision to remove trees.

Allegheny County Courthouse

Because MVP and Precision had a tight construction schedule, they opted out of waiting for the correct environmental permits and the green light to use heavy equipment and instead pushed for Beeghly and its workers to act fast, Amy Blough said in the lawsuit. Also, rather than marking danger trees, the trees were allowed to be felled by manual equipment, she said.

Jay Blough was killed after an 87-foot poplar tree hit him in the head and neck after a fellow Beeghly employee cut it, the suit said. The tree was known as a danger tree that wasn’t properly labeled by the defendants, Amy Blough said. He didn’t die right away, but, according to the lawsuit, he suffered severe pain in his final days.

MVP had supervisors on scene at the time of the incident, Amy Blough said.

“MVP and Precision did not provide a safe work environment at the site and within the pipeline. [They] created a dangerous work environment by failing to have the proper permits for use of heavy equipment, by pushing Beeghly and its employees to work long hours and consecutive days to meet an unreasonable schedule,” she said.

She also accused the defendants of not correctly labeling danger trees and of not making sure Mr. Blough was working more than two tree lengths away from a space where a different tree or trunk was being cut.

"Because neither MVP nor Precision provided proper ingress and egress to the site, Jay Blough was not provided with timely emergency medical or palliative care after being struck by a tree,” she said in the lawsuit.

She is suing for wrongful death and survival action, saying she suffered mental anguish, medical fees, funeral expenses and the cost of the investigation.   

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Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County

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