Montana Supreme Court Rules Regarding Videos of Construction Accidents

In late May, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that courts not companies determine what video footage is useful after aconstruction or other workplace accident.

Though the case specifically was about a BNSF Railway incident and not an accident in the Bakken oil fields, the ruling may have long lasting repercussions for the oil and construction industries. The court held that a judge, not a company official, should determine whether video taken at the time of an accident is pertinent to a case.

In the railway case, a machinist argued poor maintenance of the equipment led to his workplace injury and that the video would have shown the maintenance issues. The railroad argued that the accident leading to the man's injury was not visible on the video so the video was not relevant. In addition to the ruling, the court ordered a new trial for the injured worked.

For injured workers in the Bakken oil field, the ruling may mean access to another form of proof regarding the cause of their injuries. A documentary film released in January focuses on the deadly nature of Bakken oil fields and the frequency of workplace accidents which occur there.

There is some concern that with flooding danger in the Bakken fields in North Dakota, the already hazardous working conditions may become even more dangerous because of soil made unstable by high water content.

If you have been injured in a construction accident or oil field accident associated with Bakken fields, contact us. We can help you preserve the evidence and get the help you deserve.

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