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Widow of Dead Ga. Arena Worker Sues

September 17, 1999 GMT

ATLANTA (AP) _ The wife of an ironworker killed in a fall last year at Atlanta’s new Philips Arena has filed a lawsuit that contends the complex’s design caused the accident.

The suit was filed Thursday in Fulton County State Court by Lavon McCord, the widow of worker Tracy McCord of Sharpsburg. McCord, 32, and Sammie Caraway, of Barnesville, were killed Oct. 2 when they fell 50 feet to the ground while setting a concrete slab.

The lawsuit names as defendants Turner Sports & Entertainment Development Inc., designers and contractors. McCord and Caraway were part of a crew setting a 38,000-pound beam that serves as the platform for upper deck seating.

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The lawsuit contends the deck design was unstable and construction methods were changed after the accident.

Ronnie Gunnerson, senior vice president for corporate affairs at Turner Broadcasting, said Friday the company does not comment on pending litigation.

The $213 million arena in downtown Atlanta was built on the site of the former Omni as the home for the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks and NHL’s Atlanta Thrashers.

The first competition is Saturday when the expansion Thrashers play an exhibition hockey game against the New York Rangers.