Hattiesburg Plant that Became Center of Teen Worker’s Tragic Death Now Subject of Full-Blown OSHA Investigation
Pretty much everyone in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is now aware of the terrible and tragic death of Duvan Tomas Perez at the Mar-Jac Poultry Plant in Hattiesburg. In July of this year, the 16-year-old worker, originally from Guatemala, was killed in a horrific accident at the plant while he was working his shift. However, what those in Mississippi may not know about is the extensive Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigation that Mar-Jac now faces in the wake of the teen worker’s untimely workplace death.
Occupational Health and Safety Online reports this week that federal OSHA investigators are increasing their efforts to get to the bottom of the safety issues that led to Perez’s death at the Mar-Jac poultry plant. Following Perez’s death in July, OSHA authorities and the United States Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division had already launched investigations into workplace safety failures at the plant, as well as child labor violations. This week, OSHA and DOL authorities’ investigation heats up as OSHA announced that it secured a warrant from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, a federal court, which gives it access to the Mar-Jac poultry plant and location of Perez’s death. Occupational Health and Safety Online reports that the warrant will also give federal agents the right to interview Mar-Jac employees who may have been witnesses to the terrible workplace accident, and to review records regarding equipment that was involved in the accident. OSHA has also made it known that employees can contact it, even anonymously, with information about the accident. Importantly, this is not the first accident in Mar-Jac’s recent history. In May, 2021, just two years before Duvan Tomas Perez was killed at the plant, another worker died at Mar-Jac after his clothing became caught in a piece of the factory’s equipment. Although Mar-Jac contested that case, it remains open to this day.
Justice for Families of Mississippi Workers Who have been Killed on the Job
Although truly nothing can replace the loss of a loved one, when most workers are killed on the job in Mississippi, certain members of their family are entitled to Mississippi workers’ compensation death benefits. With exceptions, certain dependent family members of deceased Mississippi workers who lost their lives in a workplace accident may be eligible for financial help under Mississippi workers’ compensation laws. Those benefits may include financial support for certain dependent family members of the deceased worker, medical bills, and burial expenses.
If you have lost a loved one due to a workplace accident, it is important to learn about your entitlement to workers’ compensation death benefits as soon as possible. The experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford Baskin & Priebe are here to help the families of workers who have lost their lives on the job. The experienced Mississippi workers’ compensation lawyers at Lunsford Baskin & Priebe offer a free and confidential consultation to learn about your case, and to see if they can help fight for you. Contact Lunsford Baskin & Priebe today and speak to a lawyer about your rights for free.