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Lunsford, Baskin & Priebe PLLC. Motto
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Louisiana Arby’s Worker Dies after being Trapped in Sub-Zero Freezer, Dangers of Walk-In Freezers Revealed


The gruesome death of a Louisiana Arby’s worker who had become trapped inside of a commercial freezer shocked the state, and the nation, and is a harsh reminder of the dangers of commercial freezers and refrigerators to restaurant employees and other workers. According to national news reports, CBS News, in May, 2023, Nguyet Le, a 63-year-old Louisiana woman, was temporarily managing an Arby’s fast-food restaurant in New Iberia, Louisiana when she became trapped inside of the restaurant’s commercial freezer. Ms. Le’s son is said to have also worked at the Arby’s restaurant, and it was he who ultimately, and sadly, found her in the freezer after she had died. Reports indicate that Ms. Le entered the restaurant’s commercial walk-in freezer, but the latch – which had been broken since at least August, 2022 – was not working, and she became trapped inside at temperatures at least as low as -10 degrees. Investigators believe that Ms. Le panicked, and began beating on the door to try to escape, but ultimately collapsed in the fetal position on the floor and died as a result of hypothermia. A spokesperson for Arby’s said of the horrific workplace death, “We are aware of the tragic incident that took place at our franchised location in New Iberia, LA. The franchisee is cooperating fully with local authorities as they conduct their investigation. Due to this being an active investigation, we defer any further comment to the state police department.”

Walk-In Freezers Can Become Death Traps for Restaurant Workers

According to Forensic scientist Howard Cannon, who spoke to Inside Edition about Nguyet Le’s terrible workplace death, 60 people die each year as a result of walk-in freezer-related accidents. Mr. Cannon points to outdated and lacking safety features on some restaurant walk-in freezers, such as the lack of a panic button to inform other people outside the freezer of a person trapped inside. In addition, Mr. Cannon notes that emergency plungers used on doors may not work properly, and can cause doors to not open if they become off-center. Another way that walk-in freezer-related workplace accidents can occur is when heavy items fall off freezer shelves, injuring employees below. However, many of the “well-known” dangers that walk-in freezers pose can be prevented by adequate maintenance and care, according to some.

Justice for Injured Workers in Louisiana

If you or a loved one were injured in a workplace accident in Louisiana, it is important to learn about your rights and options to money compensation under Louisiana personal injury laws. The experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyers at the law firm Lunsford Baskin & Priebe, PLLC offer a free and confidential consultation to learn about your Louisiana personal injury case to see if they can help fight for you. It is important to note that there is a limited time to file a claim for compensation under Louisiana personal injury laws after a serious accident occurs, so it is best to speak with an experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the experienced Louisiana personal injury lawyers at Lunsford Baskin & Priebe, PLLC today and speak to a lawyer about your rights and options for free.


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