Nova Scotia

Family seeks answers about why they weren't called after man rushed to hospital from worksite

Martin David, a 47-year-old father and grandfather from Upper Hammonds Plains, N.S., left for work on Tuesday morning and will never come home.

Martin David is on life support and his family says he is brain dead

Family members of Martin David, who is on life support after falling at The Brick, want answers. From left are niece Rihanna Himmelman, son Martin David Jr., and son Maddux David. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

Martin David left for work on Tuesday morning and never came home. 

The 47-year-old Hammonds Plains, N.S., man worked as a delivery driver for The Brick, and when he didn't return from his shift that evening, his spouse, Laura Jordan, started to worry.

She said she was up all Tuesday night, calling and texting him, but all her messages went unanswered.

"In the morning I called his father and I said, 'There's something wrong,'" Jordan told CBC News.

Shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday, staff from the QEII Health Sciences Centre called David's father, Marty David, to say his son was in intensive care.

His father said several family members went to the hospital Wednesday evening to see David.

Martin David is a father of four — ages one, two, 14 and 22 — and a grandfather. (Mark Crosby/CBC)

"This was when we found out that he actually, a little after six, had a massive heart attack. He was hemorrhaging from the brain and they didn't know why. [The doctor] said to us that he's brain dead." 

Family looking for answers

According to his father, Martin David remains on life support as the family makes decisions about organ donation.

He said he expects an autopsy will reveal the cause of death, but, in the meantime, the family is looking for answers about what happened to Martin at work that morning, and why it took more than 24 hours for them to be notified.

"I'm really disappointed in his employer not to call — no one, none of his family, to let us know that he was injured," Marty David said.

"They say Black lives matter? It didn't matter to The Brick that he was injured. And he has a family. He has young children, and older boys that are still looking for their dad to come home."

Martin David is a father of four — ages one, two, 14 and 22 — and a grandfather.

Marty David holds his youngest grandchild, Makani. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

His father said nurses told the family he was conscious when he arrived at the hospital Tuesday morning, but wasn't able to say much. 

"He knew his name, and he knew he was from the community of Upper Hammonds Plains. Other than that, nothing else." 

Martin David later told a nurse that he'd fallen five feet, his father said, and sustained a head injury.

His sister, Shaelene Himmelman, said when she visited him in the hospital on Wednesday, she saw injuries that looked like evidence of such a fall — a black eye and a laceration on his leg.

"Something big had happened, but there were no answers, and nobody could tell me," said Himmelman.

She said he didn't respond when she spoke to him.

"It appeared to be Martin, but the spirit wasn't there."  

The Brick says incident is not related to work

Greg Nakonechny, vice-president, legal, for The Brick, confirmed that David fell while at work Tuesday morning, but the company does not believe he sustained a head injury, and that what transpired was "not a workplace incident at all."

"He did sustain an unrelated lower-body injury, however, he had been displaying symptoms prior to that that were something much more severe," he said in an interview.

Nakonechny said David was exhibiting dizziness, but he didn't want to comment any further on the symptoms, citing an ongoing investigation by the Occupational Health & Safety Division of Nova Scotia's Department of Labour and Advanced Education.

In a statement, a spokesperson said the department responded to a workplace incident on Tuesday at a worksite on Chain Lake Drive in Bayers Lake, which is where The Brick is located.

"No stop-work order has been issued at this time. We have no further information to share at this time. We are respectfully declining your request for an interview, as our investigation is ongoing," the spokesperson said.

Nakonechny said The Brick will also undertake an internal investigation. 

Jordan said the only recent health condition he was dealing with was a back injury, which had put him out of work for three months. He had started working again about two weeks ago.

Employer called an ambulance

Nakonechny said he reviewed video surveillance footage of parts of the incident, which took place outside, at the store's dock. He said David's leg slipped between the truck and the dock and he "bumped" his thigh, but not his head.

The legal vice-president of The Brick confirmed that Martin David fell while on the loading dock outside the Chain Lake Drive store. (Robert Short/CBC)

"He was able to support himself with his arm and get back up from that."

"He went to the washroom and wasn't feeling well. When we identified him in the washroom not feeling well we immediately contacted the ambulance."

Nakonechny said it's company policy to have emergency contact information on file for all employees. He said in incidents like this one "we make every effort to contact the emergency contact," of the employee, but he didn't know what efforts were made in this case.

He said the company has since reached out to David's family to offer counselling support.

As of Friday afternoon, Marty David said no members of his son's immediate family had heard from The Brick.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taryn Grant

Reporter

Taryn Grant is a Halifax-based reporter and web writer for CBC Nova Scotia. You can email her with tips and feedback at taryn.grant@cbc.ca

With files from Shaina Luck

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