Lawsuit claims Foster Farms’ negligence caused man’s death in Fresno

May 12 18:44 2021 Jeffrey Nadrich Print This Article

The lawsuit alleges Foster Farms was negligent by failing to make sure electrical equipment was covered and de-energized before workers were allowed near it.

A lawsuit filed in February in Fresno County Superior Court alleges that negligence on behalf of Foster Farms led to a 30-year-old Corcoran man’s electrocution death at a poultry plant in Fresno,Guest Posting CA.

The decedent, according to the lawsuit, was working in the attic space above the chicken evisceration area at the plant on June 19, 2020 as an electrical apprentice when he was electrocuted. The space was “confined and not well lit,” according to the complaint, which states it contained multiple electrical junction boxes which weren’t properly covered, leaving charged wiring exposed.

The lawsuit states the decedent was electrocuted when he came into contact with this exposed wiring.

The complaint alleges that Foster Farms was negligent. Negligence is the failure to act with reasonable care in order to prevent harm from occurring. Acting and failing to act can both be negligent. Doing what a reasonably careful person wouldn’t do in the same situation is negligent. Not doing what a reasonably careful person would do in the same situation is negligent.

The lawsuit alleges that Foster Farms was negligent by:

  • Failing to perform a lock-out tag-out (LOTO) prior to letting the decedent work in the attic space. A LOTO is a safety procedure used in research and industry settings which makes sure dangerous equipment is properly turned off and unable to be started back up before repair or maintenance work is completed;
  • Failing to de-energize the equipment in the attic space before letting the decedent work in the area;
  • Failing to make sure all energized equipment was properly covered, including two electrical junction boxes;
  • Failing to make sure anyone working in the attic space was instructed, notified and informed on the hazards and necessary work techniques needed to work around energized equipment;
  • Failing to make sure the decedent had adequate personal protective equipment and safeguards before he began his work;
  • Failing to make sure the attic space met the requirements of a permit-required confined space;
  • Failing to post signs or warnings about hazards in the attic space.

The complaint seeks to recover damages based on negligence – premises liability, arguing that “a person who owns, leases, occupies, or controls property is negligent if he or she fails to use reasonable care to keep the property in a reasonably safe condition.”

Foster Farms, according to the complaint, “affirmatively removed” required covers on its equipment and “affirmatively refused” to perform a LOTO, which the complaint claims is a violation of California Code of Regulations §§ 2320.2(a); and 5157(c).

The complaint argues Foster Farms knew or should have known that there existed a dangerous condition in the attic space, but failed to fix or warn about the condition, and that the condition “was not so obvious that a person could reasonably be expected to observe it.”

The negligence by Foster Farms and the dangerous condition that negligence created, according to the lawsuit, directly and proximately caused the decedent to be electrocuted.

The lawsuit seeks to recover damages, to be determined during a jury trial, on behalf of the decedent’s wife and two-year-old child.

This was not the only recent industrial accident at a Foster Farms facility in California. A 50-year-old employee died at a Foster Farms fertilizer plant near Livingston in January.

For more information on workplace accident lawsuits, visit Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers.

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Jeffrey Nadrich
Jeffrey Nadrich

Jeffrey Nadrich is the managing partner of Nadrich & Cohen Accident Injury Lawyers, a California personal injury law firm with offices in Fresno, Modesto, Tracy, Palm Desert, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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