Wrongful death lawsuit filed over deadly accident at grain facility

By Michelle Keahey | Nov 20, 2013

NEW ORLEANS - Following a deadly accident at a grain facility when a grain elevator fell, a Jefferson Parish woman has filed a wrongful death lawsuit claiming that her husband suffered fatal injuries because the grain elevator was not brought up to industry standards.

Melissa C. Feucht, individually and on behalf of her minor child, filed suit against Cargill Inc. on Oct. 16 in Jefferson Parish District Court. The defendant removed the case to federal court in New Orleans on Nov. 7.

The accident occurred on Oct. 16, 2012 while Jeffrey Feucht was working at a facility owned by Cargill and was hired to work on Cargill’s grain elevator and install/repair a man-lift.  Feucht and a co-worker, Stephen Steel, were working in a grain elevator, when the man-lift of the grain elevator failed. The workers plunged to the bottom of the elevator shaft.  Feucht suffered fatal injuries from the fall.

According to the lawsuit, Kone Elevators notified Cargill of numerous safety concerns and that it would no longer continue to work in the grain elevators until the safety issues were brought up to industry standards.

The defendant is accused of negligence for failing to take reasonable care in installing the proper safety equipment in its elevator when it had notice that the existing equipment was deficient, failing to take reasonable action in keeping its building from ruin, failing to exercise reasonable care to protect the safety of people on its premises, failing to exercise reasonable care by not properly equipping workers with emergency communications devices, failing to properly train Feucht to work in dangerous areas, failing to properly supervise Feucht after assuming a duty to ensure his safety through controlling access to the worksite, and for failing to warn Feucht of safety concerns involving elevators at the Westwego Site.

Feucht is seeking an award of damages for medical expenses, loss of consortium and grief, mental pain and anguish, physical pain and suffering, pecuniary loss, grief and loss of companionship, love, affection and nurture, loss of wages, earning capacity and loss of services and support, conscious pain and suffering prior to death, decedent’s and survivor’s loss of enjoyment of life, attorney’s fees, interest, and court costs.

The plaintiff is represented by Stephen M. Huber, Charles M. Thomas, and Brian P. Marcelle of Huber, Slack, Houghtaling, Pandit & Thomas, LLP in New Orleans. A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Lance M. Africk is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:13-cv-06359

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