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Lawsuit alleges employer negligence lead to workers' death

By its nature, construction work can be a dangerous occupation. For this reason, the federal office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration has guidelines concerning how to conduct such operations as digging trenches. Unfortunately, there are occasions when suspected employer negligence has resulted in serious injuries to workers here in Missouri and elsewhere.

Recently, a lawsuit was filed over the deaths of two employees who died in a trench collapse. According to the suit, a 42-year-old man and his 56-year-old co-worker were hand digging a trench that was 12 feet deep and 41 feet long. The suit alleges that text messages from the employer directs one of the men to continue with the project regardless of any other information. A former employee refused the job over safety concerns. 

On the day the two workers died, a delivery driver noticed the collapsed trench and discovered the partially covered body of one of the men. Crews worked for a full shift to recover the remains of the other man. OSHA investigators determined that the employer violated several serious regulations and imposed fines in excess of $10,000.

Records show that the company owner has not yet paid the outstanding fines. There is further evidence that one of the workers may not have been an official employee of the company. The lawsuit is seeking recovery of the financial losses that the families of the victims have sustained. 

In most situations, employers cannot be sued for accidents on the job due to the fact that the workers' compensation insurance program was instituted to provide benefits to those who are injured while at work. In this tragic incident, the families are claiming that employer negligence was responsible for the loss of their loved ones. When Missouri workers suffer a serious work-related injury or illness, they are entitled to seek the assistance of an experienced attorney in order to ensure that they receive the maximum benefits for which they qualify.

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