MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Attorneys for the family of a FedEx worker who died on the job last year have filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
Duntate Young, 23, was a temporary employee at the Memphis hub when he died in November 2019 in what the attorneys call a “horrific and preventable work-place injury.”
The lawsuit says Young was struck by a cargo container door manufactured by Satco, Inc. and used in operations at the FedEx Hub. Both Satco and FedEx are named in the suit.
Attorneys for his family, Alex Hilliard of Hilliard Martinez Gonzales LLP, and Jeffrey S. Rosenblum of Rosenblum & Reisman, P.C., filed a wrongful death lawsuit last week against FedEx Corporation and Satco, Inc, the company that makes the container. The suit says the container is “unreasonably dangerous and defective in its design and the way its manufactured” and that Satco failed to warn customers.
The suit also claims FedEx operated with “continued intentional disregard of appropriate safety protocols" having known about issues with the cargo door prior to the incident but failing to take action.
An investigation by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration resulted in a $7,000 fine and FedEx was made to post a citation for three days in a place where employees could see it.
Young had two children at the time of his death. The family’s lawsuit asks for $3 million in compensation for the children plus unspecified punitive damages.
“The tragedy is that this horrible accident was completely preventable," said Hilliard. “Had FedEx taken action to ensure workers at the facility received the protection they deserved, two young children might still have their father today.”
”This is the fourth death at this facility in five years and the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued fines against FedEx for each of those deaths," said Rosenblum. "Something has to change.”
FedEx released this statement Monday: “We remain saddened by the tragic loss of our team member, Duntate Young, and our thoughts are with his family. We will defend the lawsuit.”
TOSHA fined FedEx $7,000 after the accident. WMC learned Monday the fine was reduced to $5,950 after an informal settlement talk. Regulators usually agree to lower a fine in exchange for a company agreeing to immediately correct a hazard. TOSHA says employees were invited to attend the informal conference.