Golitko & Daly has offices in both Indianapolis and Bloomington as a way of helping injured workers and their loved ones throughout Indiana. When a fatal injury occurs on the job, we can helped the surviving family members in filing a wrongful death lawsuit, which holds negligent employers and parties accountable for their actions.
Our law firm would like to consider a recent news story about a fatal accident in a Southern Indiana auto parts factory. The circumstances of this tragedy bring up a number of noteworthy issues for workers and their families.
The Circumstances of the Case
According to a report by the Associated Press, 44-year-old Melissa Stephens died while on the job at the Autoneum North America plant in Jeffersonville, IN. The accident occurred at night during third shift and involved an as-yet undisclosed issue with the factory machinery. Stephens suffered multiple incidents of blunt force trauma during the fatal incident.
Autoneum is a Switzerland-based auto parts company that makes parts for automakers such as General Motors and Ford. The company has five plants located in the United States. Jeffersonville Police, the Clark County Coroner, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are investigating the incident.
The Worker’s Spouse Discusses the Tragedy
In a follow-up report by Wave 3 News, Michael Stephens, Melissa Stephens’ husband of 20 years, was interviewed about the tragedy. He characterized Melissa Stephens, a mother of four, as “a very driven woman” with so much more to accomplish in life. She was hired by Autoneum in the spring, working as a line lead.
Additional Concerns About Autoneum and Worker Safety
Stephens’ death is not the only work safety incident involving the Autoneum this year. In May 2017, there was an incident at Autoneum’s plant in Toledo, Ohio. A worker at that factory suffered a catastrophic injury that resulted in the amputation of his hand, wrist, and part of his forearm.
Autoneum was cited for three “willful violations” and two repeated violations. A willful violation means that Autoneum was aware of these violations yet failed to do anything about them. The company was fined almost $570,000 for this May incident.
According to the Wave 3 News follow-up report, Autoneum has amassed 33 OSHA violations at its five plants in just the last four years.
Keeping Workplaces Safe and Workers Protected
As the investigation into Melissa Stephens’ fatal accident continues, one must note the serious warning signs about Autoneum and their recurring issues with worker safety. With two catastrophic injuries on record this year and 33 OSHA violations in the last four years, their commitment to their workers and to following existing safety regulations is suspect.
It’s important that negligent employers be held accountable for unsafe work conditions and environments that put any employees at risk. If you or a loved one has been exposed to a dangerous work environment, it’s important to report these safety violations as soon as possible. For any injuries on the job related to poor safety, be sure to speak with an attorney about your potential legal options.
Contact Experienced Work Injury and Accident Attorneys
For more information about your legal rights and options when it comes to injuries and fatalities at construction sites and factories, be sure to contact our experienced work injury and fatal accident attorneys today. The lawyers at Golitko & Daly are here to help the people of Indiana in their time of need.