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Wrongful death suit filed against Omega Protein

Many lawsuits are filed against companies after fatal accidents involving hazards in the workplace. Occupational hazards often lead to wrongful death lawsuits filed by families on behalf of their lost loved one. One Texas company is facing a wrongful death lawsuit after a machinery accident killed an employee last year.

The 24-year-old man was performing maintenance work at Omega Protein when he was dragged into a conveyor. Authorities say that he died from blood loss caused by the injuries incurred in the accident.

The man's mother filed a lawsuit against Omega Protein, as well as ACE American Insurance Co. and ESIS Inc. The lawsuit alleges that the man's safety monitor left while he was working in the conveyor, which had no safety lock features. Another worker then allegedly turned on the machine, which ended up killing him.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the man's death and cited Omega Protein with 25 health and safety violations. The proposed fine was just shy of $80,000.

If the court determines that the company's negligence caused the man's death, they could be required to pay damages. Wrongful death claims often arise from occupational exposure to hazardous conditions.

Families of work accident victims can file a lawsuit to recover damages for the loss of their loved one. These damages depend on the various characteristics of the deceased including age, life expectancy, health and earning capacity. If the deceased is an adult wage earner with children or other dependants, recovery will be determined by the loss of income and loss of parental guidance.

Source: Denver Post, "Woman sues over son's death at Omega Protein," April 12, 2013.

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Brian Jensen

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