Family to file wrongful death lawsuit against FSU over son’s death

The parents of a man who died in a construction accident at Florida State University have given notice that they intend to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the university’s Board of Trustees.

Travis Joseph Miller, 25, died on July 28 when he was crushed between an exterior wall and an elevator shaft during the construction of a dormitory building at FSU.

On December 23, Miller’s parents, Richard Miller and Rebecca Rimes, gave notice to the chair of the FSU Board of Trustees and Florida’s Department of Financial Service that they intended to file a lawsuit over their son’s death. The parents claim that the university breached its duty to maintain the construction site in a safe manner and to properly supervise employees.

Miller was employed by a subcontractor for Culpepper Construction, which was building the multi-story dormitory building. Miller was sitting in an open window when the elevator descended, pulling him into a one-and-a-half inch space between the elevator and the building. Miller had been conversing with co-workers. They immediately called for the elevator operator to reascend, but Miller was already dead.

The family contends that a plywood barrier was normally kept in the open window to prevent such accidents, but that it had been removed.