A lawsuit has been filed by the wife of a worker who was electrocuted at the Cohen Recycling Center. Heather Garnett, the widow of Geoffrey S. Garnett, filed the wrongful death lawsuit on the two-year anniversary of her husband’s death. Garnett died on Oct. 16, 2014. The 33-year-old welder was electrocuted while helping employees replace a metal roof of an electrical transformer substation. The Defendants named in the suit are Metal Shredders Inc., Cohen Brothers Inc., DP&L and Luke Huggins of Metal Shredders.
The Plaintiff’s complaint contains five counts for the injuries and damages the worker sustained and pain and suffering he experienced prior to his death. There is also a wrongful death claim for the benefit of the worker’s heirs at law and/or next of kin who have or claim to have suffered damages arising out of and as a result of his death.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced citations for alleged safety violations it says played a part in the worker’s death. Of the nine violations listed, eight were categorized as serious and one was originally listed as willful. However, that one was amended to a repeat offense. The initial penalty amount of $115,000 was negotiated to $63,250, according to OSHA online records.
OSHA also cited Cohen Brothers, Metal Shredders’ parent company, with three serious safety violations for failing to train employees in electrical safe work practices. The proposed penalties of $21,000 for those violations was negotiated to $17,000.
The complaint filed by the widow alleges that Garnett “contacted or came in proximity to an energized electrical line causing him to sustain an electrical shock, internal and external burns, and multiple other serious injuries that ultimately resulted in his death.” The lawsuit also alleges that inferior testing equipment may have played a role in the incident. It was alleged that “(Garnett) was informed or made to believe that this electrical line had been properly tested to confirm it was de-energized when in fact the live line tool voltage tester used was approximately 15 years old and had not been removed from service after two years as required.”
Source: Dayton Daily News
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