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Wrongful death claims preventable and plentiful on farms

Having a young family member crushed to death by a cascade of grain in a silo is a horrible incident. Knowing that his wrongful death could have been prevented makes it much worse. This horrible and unfortunate event is what some families are forced to face for their young family members today.

Lafayette has its fair share of farms and there is not much to stop what has happened on farms around the country from happening here. Since 2007, out of the 80 farm workers who have died, 14 of them were young teenage boys. These silos are some of the most dangerous areas to work in but still the fatal work-related accidents that occur in them are almost always preventable.

In the grain handling facilities, the hazards involved are numerous. They include, but are not limited to, explosions, fires, suffocation, and even amputation. The leading cause of death is suffocation. In 2010 alone, 51 workers were trapped in grain storage bins and 26 of those workers died, according to a 2012 Purdue University study.

There are many ways to reduce these hazards. One of these includes requiring an employer to turn off all of the powered equipment in or associated with that bin when a worker enters. Another is that an employer must provide all employees with a harness or lifeline if they are going to enter into the bin.

In the unfortunate even of a wrongful death does occur to a young worker, nothing will ever bring that family member back, however a wrongful death lawsuit may help with the financial burden now faced by the family. This is particularly the case if the child was one of the primary earners for the home. Some factors that are considered are that age of the child, state of health and habits of the child, earning potential and the financial implications for the worker's family.

The loss of a loved one is a horrible occurrence and the loss of a child is a horrible event that no parent should ever have to experience. A wrongful death lawsuit is one step towards trying to cope with this horrible event.

Source: The New York Times, "Silos Loom as Death Traps on American Farms," Oct. 28, 2012

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