San Francisco Printing Plant Owner, Manager Face Charges for Death

10/25/2010 // WPB, FL, USA // Personal Injury Lawyers News // Nicole Howley

San Francisco, CA—Involuntary manslaughter charges and labor code violations were levied against the owner and a manager of a printing plant, where a pregnant woman was killed in 2008. Lawyers for the defendants allege the criminal allegations are going too far for what they call a “horrible accident,” as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The owner of Digital Pre-Press International, Sanjay Sakhuja, 52, of Alameda, and the pressroom manager, Alick Yeung, 50, of San Francisco were charged for the January 29, 2008, death of pregnant worker, Margarita Mojica, 36, of Oakland. They are facing manslaughter charges and a willful violation of labor laws.

According to prosecutors, “Mojica was preparing a box creasing and cutting machine to start a job at the Mariposa Street plant, replacing a cutting die. She was leaning into the machine, when the machine suddenly activated and closed like a giant clamshell. It took 20 minutes for firefighters to free her from the machine at the Potrero Hill plant.”

The DPI workers were not properly trained in making sure that the cutting equipment was shut down during setup, according to prosecutors. In addition, the printing company failed to follow regulations requiring such machinery to be padlocked in the off position. The company also did not utilize failsafe protocol, which would require two workers to simultaneously activate the device.

Sakhuja’s bail is set at $300,000, and Yeung’s was set at $100,000.

Sakhuja and Yeung are facing fines of $250,000 each, and the company faces $1.5 million in fines related to the death.

Following the fatal workplace accident, state regulators issued 14 citations against the company for failing to properly train workers, which included about $81,000 in fines.

A wrongful death lawsuit was settled for $6 million.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for California business lawyers.

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