NORTH COUNTY TIMES Morgan Cook reported that Manuel Moreno,56, of Valley Center, was tragically killed on July 27, 2010 while at work at Evergreen Nursery in Oceanside. Oceanside police officer Ernie Thibodeaux said that Moreno, who was found by a coworker, had been killed as a result of being trapped in a conveyor belt of a soil-filtering machine. The fatal accident happened in the early morning when Moreno fell while attempting to jump from the machine to a tractor he had been using. Moreno’s arm was trapped between the belt and a wheel of the machine, pulling him forward against the machine and causing him to stop breathing. Officers found him dead when they arrived at the scene.
Our sympathy goes out to his daughter, son, the Moreno family and friends.
Applicable California Law
Further investigation could reveal additional facts as to how Moreno’s arm got caught in the machine. If the machine was not equipped with protective measures such as safety guard rails, or an emergency shut off, the machine could be defective, giving rise to a potential products liability claim. Products Liability laws are based on various legal theories such as negligence, strict liability, or breach of warranty. Products Liability claims can result from design defects, manufacturing defects, or marketing defects such as inadequate warnings or a failure to warn off dangers. Everyone involved in the chain of distribution from the manufacturer and component parts providers to distributors, can be potentially responsible and held liable for damages. In this case, a comprehensive investigation of the circumstances of the accident would include a scene inspection and analyses by an accident reconstruction, human factors expert, mechanical engineer, or other experts who are familiar with these types of machines, would be necessary to evaluate the merits of any claims. Moreno’s heirs could have wrongful death claims under workers compensation law as well as products liability law (see my prior Blog posts relating to the law on survivor action, wrongful death claims and how workers compensation law would apply.)
Tragic accidents at work can happen at any time resulting in serious injury or wrongful death. Work related accidents caused by auto accidents, truck accidents, construction accidents, defective products, or other job related injuries can be life changing for the injured worker or their family. Having your case analyzed by an experienced personal injury attorney is essential to obtaining fair compensation .