A statue of William Henry Seward stands outside the Dimond Courthouse in downtown Juneau. The family of a Juneau man who died after suffering a blunt-force neck injury filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Carver Construction LLC, arguing it breached its duty to ensure the family’s residence was reasonably safe amid ongoing renovations. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

A statue of William Henry Seward stands outside the Dimond Courthouse in downtown Juneau. The family of a Juneau man who died after suffering a blunt-force neck injury filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Carver Construction LLC, arguing it breached its duty to ensure the family’s residence was reasonably safe amid ongoing renovations. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Family files wrongful death suit against Juneau construction company

Fatal fall in 2021 the result of company’s breach of duty, lawsuit states.

The family of a Juneau man who died after suffering a blunt-force neck injury following a fall down a flight of stairs in his home in 2021 has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Carver Construction LLC, arguing it breached its duty to ensure the family’s residence was reasonably safe amid ongoing renovations.

The lawsuit was filed July 27 in Juneau Civil Superior Court by Theresa Lee Araki on behalf of Kevin Araki, who following his fall on Aug. 1, 2021, was emergency transported from his home to Bartlett Regional Hospital to receive treatment for his injury. He later died on a medevac flight to Anchorage.

“As a result of Carver’s breach of duty, Kevin Araki suffered a fatal injury,” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit names Carver Construction — a longtime local general contractor currently contracted to renovate downtown’s Centennial Hall — as the defendant.

According to the lawsuit, Carver Construction was hired by the Arakis following a house fire to assist in performing a damage assessment, along with cleaning, demolition and repair of the house. The lawsuit alleges the work proceeded “erratically” and sometimes stalled for weeks at a time. The lawsuit states that led to the unavailability of a cleaning company whose services were required before demolition on the second floor of the house could occur.

The lawsuit states employees of the construction company asked the family to conduct the required services themselves in order to facilitate the company’s ongoing renovation work. They were also advised the “important work had already been completed in the house, including the reinforcing of the stairs,” according to the lawsuit.

Based on that information the couple returned to the house to remove damaged items from the second floor, which is when the life-ending fall occurred while Kevin Araki was going down the stairs carrying a box of items, according to the lawsuit.

The plaintiff is seeking damages “exceeding the jurisdictional requirement of this court,” with the exact amount to be proven at trial.

Larry Woodford, the attorney representing Theresa Lee Araki, offered little comment on the filing to the Empire on Thursday afternoon.

“I’ll let the complaint speak for itself,” he said.

A spokesperson for Carver Construction LLC said the company had no comments to share at this time regarding the lawsuit.

Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

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