The idea of robots in the workplace is a controversial one for many reasons, not the least of which is because some employees fear the automation of tasks that used to require human employees. That debate notwithstanding, one Alabama mother has an altogether different grievance, after a robot crushed her daughter to death in a horrific wrongful death case.
The mother of Regina Allen Elsea is suing the auto parts manufacturer her daughter worked for as well as a staffing company. The mother’s deceased 20-year-old daughter entered a robotic station on June 18, 2016 along with three other coworkers to clear a sensor after the assembly line stopped moving. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the robot restarted and crushed Regina Elsea inside the machine. She was ultimately transported to East Alabama Medical Center and later flown to UAB Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries.
The mother’s lawsuit alleges negligence and liability against her daughter’s employer as well as those involved in the “design, manufacturing, marketing and selling” of the machines that caused her daughter’s death.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) investigated the death and their official reports reveal that the behavior of the lawsuit’s defendants revealed a “pattern and practice of disregarding OSHA’s safety regulations.” The mother’s lawsuit alleges that the defendants failed to properly guard employees at the point of operation, thereby failing to protect the user of the machine.
The U.S. Department of Labor, for their part in the case, fined the auto supplier and agencies involved $2.5 million, after OSHA issued a total of 27 citations against the auto supplier and staffing agencies for safety violations.
The facts of this case, while disturbing, underscore the reality that employers must be held to account when their negligence needlessly tears families apart. 20-year-old Regina Elsea was in the prime of her life who, according to her obituary, had finally met the love of her life and future husband.
Alabama Wrongful Death Lawsuits
An unfortunate part of life is that accidents can and do happen, but when these accidents are negligent in nature and cause irreparable harm to Alabama families, the deceased’s estate deserves justice that holds these companies accountable. As the Elsea family’s attorney stated in the case, it is an unfortunate fact that “thousands of workers are injured or die each year due to improperly guarded industrial machinery and employers’ indifference to safety.”
When employers act indifferently and cause the needless death of your Alabama loved one, you need a lawyer who passionately takes action and pursues justice that compensates you for the loss and harms suffered.
Noel B. Leonard is an Alabama wrongful death lawyer who helps families of the deceased pursue and receive this justice. From his office in Foley, Noel represents the families of wrongful death victims in Foley as well as Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties.
Contact Noel B. Leonard or call 251-943-8638 for a legal consultation