The LA County district attorney has charged two Bumble Bee Food employees, as well as the company itself, with three felony counts of violating occupational safety and health codes. This comes after a two year long investigation into the death of a plant maintenance man who was cooked to death after being locked in a 35-foot oven used to sterilize fish. If found guilty, the two men could face up to three years in prison and face over a quarter-million dollars in fines. Bumblebee could face up to $1.5 million in fines as well.
As reported by the LA Times, the accident occurred in October of 2012 at Bumble Bee’s Santa Fe Springs plant. The deceased had entered the 35-foot oven to make a repair. Unaware the man was in the machine, factory workers returned to their post and loaded approximately 12,000 lbs of tuna into it and raised the internal temperature to 270 degrees. The maintenance worker was cooked to death in a matter of minutes.
While Bumble Bee disagrees with the charges and maintains the man’s death was a tragic accident, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey believes it is the right call. “Although the Bumble Bee investigation began in 2012, this case represents our commitment to protecting workers from illegal — and, potentially, deadly — on-the-job practices.” Arraignment for the two men and the company are scheduled to take place on May 27th.
Unfortunately, accidents like these remain a potential hazard for millions of laborers across the state, everyday. If you have been seriously hurt or lost a loved one to a workplace accident, you may have grounds to take legal action and receive compensation. Contact Kahn Roven for more information and to schedule a free case consultation. Call us at (844) 9-INJURED.