Employee dies after being pulled into rock crushing machine when guards are removed.
The jury awarded plaintiffs $30,000,000 in non-economic damages. The jury apportioned fault to General Equipment 70% ($21,000,000) and 30% to the employer. (Employer was not a defendant due to the Workers' Comp sole remedy rule.)
Liddy Law Firm by Donald G. Liddy and Paula J. Khehra, Pasadena.
Shoop, APLC by David R. Shoop, Beverly Hills.
Walsworth WFBM, LLP by John A. Kaniewski and Sadaf A. Nejat, Orange. (For General Equipment & Supplies, Inc.)
Peter Petrovsky, civil engineering, Agoura.
Roman Beyer, civil engineering, Los Altos.
On October 7, 2013, 34-year-old maintenance worker Rolando Anaya was caught and pulled into a rock-crushing machine that was being operated without safety guards.
That the manufacturer had provided removable safety guards with no interlock or adequate emergency stop device.
Defendant contended that the employer, R.J. Noble, should never have allowed the machine to operate without safety guards and that decedent was negligent for working near the machine without a guard. Defendant claimed the machine was safe if used with the guards provided, and that it provided an emergency stop in the control room. The guards were manufactured by Fab Tec (not a defendant at trial).
As to damages, defendant also claimed that decedent did not live in the same state as his children and only saw them a few weeks per year and was absent from their lives for a number of years.
Wrongful death of father.