Company Fined for Kern County Poisonous Gas Fatalities of Two Brothers

Compost and recycling company Community Recycling & Resource Recovery has received a fine of over $166,000 for the deaths of two workers at a Kern County facility. In a Los Angeles Times report, the chief of the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health stated that the young workers’ deaths were “completely preventable.” Their deaths were caused by exposure to poisonous gas while working in a drainpipe to clear a blockage.

The two workers, who were brothers, were a 16-year-old employee who had false work papers saying he was 30 and a 22-year-old contractor. California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) has made a referral to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for feasible child labor law violations in which an investigation is ongoing.

The compost and recycling company was fined for failing to give workers adequate training, failing to test for hazardous levels of gas, and failing to have effective rescue protocol. The two brothers were not provided appropriate protection while they were cleaning the underground storm drain system at the company’s Kern County facility. Even though hydrogen sulfide is a typical byproduct of composting, the company did not test for potentially dangerous levels of gas. Cal/OSHA is still examining the workplace accident to determine whether prosecution should be conducted for criminal negligence.

At the California wrongful death law firm of Carpenter, Zuckerman & Rowley, our attorneys are armed to win for family members who have tragically had their loved one taken from them well before his or her time. With our years of experience obtaining successful case results, our clients can rely on us to help them obtain rightful compensation and hold negligent parties liable. Our law firm won the largest verdict in Kern County history, a $31.6 million jury award, for a girl who suffered injuries in a drunk driving crash. Call 213-514-8332 today for a free consultation and to find out more about your legal rights and options.