When a loved one dies in a workplace accident, family members probably want to know why the accident occurred. Not knowing why an accident happened or whether it could have been prevented could trouble a person for years. Without knowing details of the accident, accepting a family member's death may be challenging.
Family members of workers killed in a grain elevator explosion at Bartlett Grain Co. in Atchison, Kansas have likely experienced intense grief since the unexpected explosion. On October 29, 2011 Bartlett's grain elevator exploded, killing five men. Three were employees of Bartlett and two were grain inspectors employed elsewhere.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the accident and released a report this past spring. OSHA alleges that Bartlett could have prevented the accident by attending to safety hazards regarding equipment and grain dust near the elevator. According to OSHA, the company was aware of the potential dangers of operating the grain elevator when highly combustible grain dust covered the elevator area. Bartlett faces over $400,000 in penalties.
Bartlett states they disagree with OSHA's report and have appealed the report's accusations. Now, family members of some of the deceased employees have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bartlett.
The outcome of the families' lawsuit against Bartlett will likely not be known for a while. The families of the men killed by the accident have already coped with losing a loved one this year. While payment from Bartlett will not bring their sons, fathers or husbands back, it may make it easier to manage finances strained by the accident.
Source: The Kansas City Star, "Families sue over Kansas grain elevator blast," Bill Draper, Aug. 29, 2012
To learn more about wrongful death claims, please visit our workplace accidents webpage.