The Goodyear plant in Danville VA has just experienced its third fatal accident on site in the last eight months, and that prompted the plant to be shut down for several days this week as OSHA investigates.
The most recent death was that of Greg Cooper, an 18 year worker at Goodyear, who died in a workplace accident last Tuesday. Another worker, Kevin Edmonds, died during his shift on March 31. Also, in August 2015, Jeanie Lynne Strader died in another accident at the Danville plant.
Edmonds’ family members told the media that he had died of asphyxiation.
The plant was given three OSHA violations that totaled $16,000 in fines last February for the fatal accident that killed Strader.
OSHA will continue its investigation for several months most likely before it renders its judgment.
Our Virginia workplace accident attorneys will be watching this case with interest, as it is highly unusual for a manufacturing plant to have three separate fatal accidents in such a short period of time. Under federal law, the employer must provide a safe environment, but so many companies do not do this. National statistics state that 4500 workers die in industrial accidents each year, and thousands more are disabled.
The family members who are grieving the loss of their loved ones may have strong workers’ compensation claims.
There also could be grounds for wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits if evidence is uncovered that shows that any company supplied to Goodyear a defective product or piece of equipment, or if Goodyear itself willfully violated a safety regulation.
Normally, workers are not allowed to sue their own Virginia employer. Nonetheless, suits are permissible against different companies or suppliers and in very rare circumstances a claim is available outside of Worker’s Compensation against one’s own employer for willful safety regulation violations that endanger human health and safety.