A Fort Myers man suffered fatal injuries recently while working at a concrete products plant in Lehigh Acres. The man, Zavarius Philius, entered a cement mixing machine in an effort to retrieve an object. While he was inside the machine, it suddenly began operating, crushing him with its blades and killing him.
Investigations continue as no one is quite sure how or why the machine turned on with Philius still inside. The possibility of a malfunction is being explored, as the plant had previously been closed temporarily to deal with mechanical problems. Firefighters and rescuers spent almost eight hours working to recover Philius’ body after the incident.
Workplace accidents involving machinery often cause catastrophic or fatal injuries. These accidents can be caused by mechanical problems including product defects due to design or manufacturing errors. Poor maintenance by employers also results in machines becoming more dangerous. Similarly, failure to properly train employees on safety procedures or failure to properly instruct them on how to operate machinery can put workers at risk.
Depending on the cause of the accident, a worker’s family may have different legal remedies. For example, when an accident is caused by the actions or inactions of the victim’s employer, or by a coworker, the family is typically limited to recovery under Florida’s workers’ compensation laws. When a death is caused by defective machinery, however, the family may be able to bring a product defect wrongful death claim. Similarly, when the actions of a different contractor or of a property owner cause an accident, the family may be able to bring a wrongful death claim based on negligence.
If a family member has been killed or seriously injured at work, the workplace accident attorneys at the Bradenton firm of Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni & Walsh can help you pursue justice.