Texas Workplace Safety Hazards Result in Death

Texas Workplace Safety Hazards Result in Death

A Texas woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a pottery manufacturer after a supervisor working for the company died while attempting to fix an industrial class dryer.

Workplace Death Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The supervisor killed in the accident, Frederick Beham, climbed into the large dryer in an attempt to repair it.  The dryer was nonfunctional at the time Beham climbed into it, but shortly after he was inside, the dryer unexpectedly restarted, crushing him to death.

LaTonya Robinson, individually and on behalf of the estate of Frederick Beham, has filed a wrongful death personal injury lawsuit against Beham’s former employer, Marshall Pottery.

Suit Alleges Employers Aware of Potential Safety Hazards

The suit claims that the accident was preventable and was caused by the irresponsible and unsafe worksite policies of Marshall Pottery.  For example the suit points out that:

  • The company had a long-running policy that required employees to fix broken equipment and machinery by any means necessary, setting a standard that made employees feel obligated to ignore potential safety hazards.
  • It was a common occurrence for the dryer Beham was repairing at the time of his death to break down in the manner in which it did.  Despite this the same temporary and unsafe fixes were consistently prescribed to deal with the problem.
  • There was no "lock out tag out" mechanism to prevent the dryer from being turned back on while someone was inside it.
  • It was commonly known that there had been an instance where the dryer had restarted on its own, independent of operator input.

Safety Hazards Should have been Addressed

The lawsuit asserts that Marshall Pottery failed to enact a wide range of possible and reasonable precautions that would have protected its employees from accidents like the one that killed Beham.  Some of these precautions are described by the lawsuit:

  • Having properly staffed maintenance department
  • Routinely inspecting and replacing worn parts
  • Provide operation and maintenance training
  • Provide safety training
  • Provide "lock out tag out" training
  • Enforce a "lock out tag out" procedure
  • Posting safety guards near a machine’s moving parts as required by OSHA regulations
  • Providing a safe alternative means of repairing machines as opposed to the temporary jury-rig techniques that were being employed.

Compensation for Damages Sought

The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount for damages suffered.  These damages include:

  • Beham's pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Burial expenses
  • Loss of companionship and society
  • Loss of household services
  • Anguish
  • Grief
  • Emotional pain and suffering
  • Pecuniary losses

(Source:  Southeast Texas record)

Has someone you love died as a result of the negligence, recklessness or intentional harm of another? If so, you may be eligible to recover compensation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit on his/her behalf. Contact us today to schedule a private consultation with a personal injury attorney who will help you recover the compensation you need and deserve.

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