Man dies in fall at Chumash Casino

April 30, 2015

ambulance A 45-year-old construction worker died Wednesday after falling off scaffolding at the Chumash Casino in Santa Barbara County. [KEYT]

Shortly after noon, Las Vegas resident David Goldberry fell off scaffolding that was two or three stories high, Santa Barbara County fire officials say. Fire crews responded, but Goldberry was pronounced dead at the scene.

It is unclear what caused the accident, and the incident remains under investigation.

Goldberry was an employee of SME Steel Contractors, which is working on a construction project at Chumash. SME is a subcontractor of Tutor Perini Building Corp., which released a statement of condolence and said it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death.

The Santa Ynez Chumash tribal chairman also issued a statement expressing sympathy to Goldberry’s family, friends and coworkers.


I am so very sorry to the family.


It is probably not relevant to the article but the contractor, Tutor Perini, probably is (or was) one of a maze of companies owned by Diane Feinstein’s billionaire hubby, Richard Blum. I wonder if that connection had anything to do with who got the contract? If so, I wonder what the payback will be?


Indian lands are not subject to the same laws as everything else re: safety conditions, workers comp etc. They are an independent nation.

Having said that, scaffolding is supposed to have a railing to prevent this sort of thing, and there are other very basic safety steps to prevent accidents on scaffolding and generally working at heights over 6 feet. But nothing is perfect.

My condolences to his family who must still be in shock.


Certain elements of US and California Civil Codes are incorporated into the tribal law for the purpose of doing business. It isn’t always simple to figure out exactly what laws apply and who can enforce them and how they should be enforced.

The tribe is ultimately independent but they must be able to do business and make contracts with outside companies and US banks and other institutions.


The bottom line is that they’re a US owned company and they have to carry Workman’s Compensation for their Employees. There are strict safety laws where the insurance is concerned and the employer has to have an approved safety manual in place. Either they followed those rules or they didn’t and if they didn’t. they could well be out of business with their insurance cancelled.