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On-the-job injury and death leads to criminal conviction

The project manager and owner of a construction company located in Fremont were both convicted of involuntary manslaughter after the death of one of their employees. The decedent, a carpenter, was working on a large project in Milpitas when the accident occurred. According to the prosecution, the California company had been ordered to stop work on the project due to a high risk for on-the-job injury. 

The death of the carpenter came three days after an alleged stop-work order was given by officials. It is has also been reported that the construction firm had not been given a permit to excavate the site. The company disputed these assertions, claiming that they had done everything possible to protect worker safety. 

After several days of heavy rainfall, a 13-foot retaining wall collapsed on the worker. The California construction company says that they never received an order to stop working and that they followed all instructions from an engineer regarding how to properly shore up the work site. This tragic accident and the severe legal consequences faced by those in charge underline the potentially serious results of neglecting worker safety. 

Not every on-the-job injury is a result of blatant negligence or a boss' criminal activity. No matter what the circumstances of a work accident may be, the injured victim is entitled to certain benefits granted by workers' compensation insurance. After an on-the-job death of a worker, the family left behind could be entitled to financial compensation to cover medical bills, funeral costs, lost income and emotional distress. 

Source: sfgate.com, "Manslaughter convictions in Milpitas construction death", Henry K. Lee, May 19, 2015

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