A federal judge has denied a request by Cintas Corp. for summary judgment in a 2007 wrongful death lawsuit in Tulsa, a ruling that paves the way for a jury to hear the case against the nation’s largest uniform supplier next year.
U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan wrote in a 31-page opinion that there is ”conflicting evidence” whether Cintas managers knew workers in company laundries were breaking safety rules to save time, but did nothing to stop them.
Eagan wrote that videotape evidence taken from the Tulsa plant ”shows employees routinely disregarding Cintas’ safety procedures.”
Amalia Diaz Torres is suing Cincinnati-based Cintas, claiming the company’s plant managers knew about — and even encouraged — the dangerous working practices that led to the death of her husband, Eleazar Torres-Gomez, in 2007.
Cintas, which supplies and launders uniforms for restaurant and hotel employees and other workers, employs more than 34,000 people.
On March 6, 2007, Torres-Gomez, a seven-year Cintas employee, climbed onto a slow-moving conveyor to clear a jam of wet laundry, instead of shutting off the machinery as he was supposed to do.
He jumped up and down on the clump and fell into the 300-degree dryer. Twenty minutes later, another employee heard his burned body banging around in the dryer and made the grisly discovery.
Torres’ suit claims her husband and his co-workers were encouraged by Cintas managers to climb onto the conveyors to dislodge clumps of uniforms to keep up with production.
Last year, an Associated Press investigation found that in the year and a half after the accident in Tulsa, at least eight Cintas plants in six states had been cited by OSHA and state authorities for hazards similar to those that led to Torres-Gomez’s death.
In December, the company agreed to pay almost $3 million in penalties to resolve federal occupational safety violations in six cases, including the Tulsa death.
If you or a family member has been injured because of the fault of someone else; by negligence, personal injury, slip and fall, car accident, medical malpractice, trucking accident, drunk driving, dangerous drugs, bad product, toxic injury etc then please contact the Dallas Texas Wrongful Death Attorney Dr. Shezad Malik. For a no obligation, free case analysis, please call 817-255-4001 or Contact Me Online.