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Family may have cause for wrongful death suit in Missouri

Any time someone works in a dangerous industry or around dangerous chemicals, there is always the chance that a mishap, accident or even a death could occur. In Missouri, one worker has lost his life while on the job. If the company is found to be negligent in how they operated or if they failed to protect him, the family of the man may very well have a case for a wrongful death claim.

According to reports, the 53-year-old worker was down an 18-foot-deep manhole. He was performing some construction duties pertaining to a sewer lift station. The worker allegedly was overcome by fumes from methyl ethyl ketone and died.

OSHA has investigated the incident and has issued citations to both companies involved in the project. The citations equal $224,000 for one company and $5,600 for another. The company who has been cited for the largest fine says it is their first citation in the 58 years they have been in business.

Even if it is a first time citation for a company, any kind of massive fine from OSHA should initiate change in how jobs are done. However, any safety changes are too late to help the worker who lost his life. The family of the Missouri worker may be able to seek damages from the companies through a civil court. If they were to win a wrongful death claim, the damages may help the man's family deal with medical costs, funeral costs and even help them ease the strain his lost income may have put on his family.

Source:, "Companies cited for worker death at sewer plant," Feb. 20, 2013

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