Agricultural worker alleges dangerous conditions in grain burial

Agricultural workplaces are admittedly dangerous. Combine large machinery with high production goals and unfamiliar contractors, and you could have a recipe for disaster at a California farm. That is just what happened to one Woodland man, who claims that he was victimized by dangerous conditions while unloading a grain silo.

The man said he was buried alive in a large pile of grain for five hours at the Yolo County silo. The man was tasked with helping empty the grain from its holding bin, using paddles and an auger to transport the grain toward the bottom. It appears that the victim was still inside the silo when someone opened a hatch at the bottom of the container, sending him plunging into the pile of grain. Not only was the man buried up to his head in the crushing grain; he alleges that company representatives waited for an hour to call for assistance after he became trapped.

Attorneys in the case argue that the man should have been given a safety harness, and he should have received specialized training to prevent such an accident. Premises liability attorneys may be able to identify such shortcomings on the part of the property owner. In addition, the facility manager is accused of being incompetent to oversee the facility.

The victim has suffered serious injuries because of the traumatic incident. His torso and limbs were injured, and he also suffered injury to his vision and respiratory system. Emotional effects have also been noted, including post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and claustrophobia. The man is seeking damages for negligence from the Adams Grain Company. He was working as a contractor for a nonparty employer, T&T Marketing Services.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Horrifying Incident in a Grain Elevator” Barbara Wallace, Apr. 06, 2014