The mother of a 24-year-old man who died last year during a machinery incident at Omega Protein has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company. The suit was filed by Cynthia Hebert, the mother of Christopher Allen Hebert, in U.S. District Court in Gulfport. The worker was dragged into a conveyor as he did maintenance work on April 9, 2012, and died from blood loss related to his injuries.
Herbert had worked at Omega Protein in Moss Point for three years. It’s alleged in the lawsuit that on the day he was killed, Hebert’s safety monitor left while he was inside the conveyor and that another worker turned on the machinery, dragging him to his death. The company operates a menhaden, or pogy, fishing fleet and processing facility in Moss Point. It produces fish oils and fish meal for human consumption and for use in aquaculture, agriculture and industrial applications.
Also named as defendants in the suit are ACE American Insurance Co. and ESIS Inc. a risk management service provider. It’s alleged that because the company did not have safety lock features on the conveyor and left Hebert alone to work on it, “Omega Protein, by and through its employees, engaged in intentional conduct designed to bring about injury, or death” to the worker. In September 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited Omega Protein with 25 safety and health violations based on an inspection prompted by the worker’s death. The EEOC proposed a fine of $79,200.
Source: The Denver Post
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