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Trial lawyers specializing in personal injury and civil litigation

When government does not regulate

       An RPI Coating company spokesman told the Associated Press that it was "devastated" over the loss of five of its employees who were killed in a deadly fire in a hydroelectric plant in Georgetown, Colorado.  "They were very experienced guys.  They were some of our best."  The fire has been traced to a heated device in which the workers were mixing an epoxy-based sealant.  It turns out that RPI has been issued numerous safety violations by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Denver-area Federal OSHA office.  Since 1986, the Denver office had issued 35 safety violations against the company ("more than most companies"), and an OSHA spokesman was quoted in the New York Times to the effect that "They have a significant history with OSHA, and these are serious violations".  One employee of the company was killed while working on the Oakland Bay Bridge in 2002.  The dead employees were 18 year-old Anthony Aguirre; Donald Dejaynes, 43; Gary Foster, 48; Dupree Hold, 37; and James St. Peters, 52.  It has been our experience that when a tragedy like this occurs, it can frequently be traced to a culture of corner-cutting and a lack of safety-consciousness that is ingrained in some companies.  Individual workers who might object to safety compromises end up biting their tongue and attempting to ignore potential risks, in order to preserve their jobs and their sanity.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262