Men Inhale Fumes on the Job and Die




Men Inhale Fumes on the Job and Die

The families of two men who suffered fatal injuries at work when they inhaled toxic fumes on the job in a sewer have settled their lawsuit against the men’s employer and the state.

The lawsuit was filed in the Iowa Supreme Court against the city of Des Moines, Iowa, and Insituform Technologies over the two deaths that resulted when two workers were overcome by toxic hydrogen sulfide gas.

The Supreme Court ruled that the city failed to adhere to safety regulations by not informing workers of necessary safety precautions to take in the sewer.

The Incident

Insituform, contracted by the city of Des Moines, sent two men to install a lining around underground sewer pipes to stop leaks into a nearby reservoir. The workers were overcome by the fumes, and fell face down. They drowned in sewage.

Five other workers went into the sewer in a rescue attempt but were also overcome by the gas.

The Complaints


Complaints were filed against the city claiming they violated occupational safety and health standards for confined workspaces.

The Employment Appeal Board found that the city had indeed committed two violations, and the Supreme Court later upheld the decision, saying, “The city should have known that the employees of Instituform entered the sewer and when in the sewer, the workers were exposed to a substantial probability of death or serious physical harm.

Injured at work?

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury or death at work, please contact us today to obtain a free consultation with an accomplished personal injury attorney who has the skills and experience necessary to help you recover the compensation you may be entitled to.

Find a Lawyer Now

Search for a Personal Injury lawyer in your state or province by using the forms to the right.