The family of a man who died following a 1987 construction accident at Hill Air Force Base has filed suit seeking unspecified damages from the federal government.

In its suit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, the family of John Scott McGibbon alleges the government's negligence contributed to McGibbon's death.On Aug. 18, 1987, McGibbon was working for O&M Plumbing and Heating, a subcontractor for Steen-blik Construction Co., which was engaged in a large base exchange construction project, the suit states.

The suit contends that during excavation of a trench, an unmarked water main was broken by a backhoe, filling the trench with water. Although a pump was used to drain most of the water, McGibbon was required to enter the trench and pail out the remainder in order to expose the ruptured line for repair.

While McGibbon was in the trench, the walls collapsed on him, the complaint states.

The suit alleges that the water main did not appear on plans or drawings provided the contractors by the government, nor was the pipeline surveyed and staked with markers.

Further, the complaint charges that the government failed to conduct a safety inspection of the area after the water main broke.

"As a direct, proximate and foreseeable result of defendants' breach, John Scott McGibbon was required to enter the trench which collapsed, resulting in his death," the suit alleged.

The complaint asks the court to award damages for loss of love and consortium; loss of income and wages; costs associated with McGibbon's medical treatment and death, and the expense of bringing the suit.