Posted On: January 21, 2010 by Steven J. Malman

Chocolate plant owners sued over wrongful death of worker who fell into melting vat

The family of a man who died after he fell in a melting vat while employed as a temporary worker is suing the owners of the chocolate plant where the fatal work accident happened for his wrongful death. Vincent Smith II was fatally injured on July 8, 2009.

He was placing raw cocoa into a giant melting tank when he fell into it and was hit on the head by a rotating panel. The hot liquid chocolate in the vat was 120 degrees.

According to the plaintiffs, there were no guardrails around the melting vat, which had slippery melted chocolate around it. They also say that there were no warning signs, an easily accessible shutoff valve, and or rescue gear. The family’s wrongful death lawyer said Smith was “invited into a death trap” and did not stand a chance of survival once he fell in. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited Cocoa Services and Lyons for failing to install warning signs and railings over the tanks.

Lyons and Sons, Inc. and Cocoa Services are among the numerous defendants named in the wrongful death lawsuit.

Workers’ Compensation and Third Party Lawsuits
Most workers are entitled to Illinois workers’ compensation benefits, which include payment of medical benefits, as well as pay for permanent total disability, permanent partial disability, and temporary total disability. An experienced Chicago workers’ compensation lawyer can make sure you receive all the work injury benefits that you are owed.

Although you cannot sue your employer for personal injury, you may be able to sue liable third parties that are not your employer. This is a matter that a Chicago injury attorney can help you figure out.

Suit filed in death at chocolate plant,, January 12, 2010

Factory Worker Dies After Falling Into Vat of Chocolate, FoxNews, July 8, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Illinois Industrial Commission


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