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Mar-Jac Poultry Faces Wrongful Death Suit Over Teen Worker's Fatal Accident

Workplace Accident Wrongful Death

Mar-Jac Chicken Facing Wrongful Death Lawsuit After Teen Worker’s Fatal Accident 

The wrongful death lawsuit against Mar-Jac Poultry concerning the tragic death of 16-year-old Duvan Pérez at their Hattiesburg plant has cast a spotlight on workplace safety and child labor laws. This case underscores the critical need for stringent adherence to labor regulations and safety standards, particularly in industries known for hazardous working conditions.

Case Overview

Duvan Pérez lost his life in a horrific accident at the Mar-Jac Poultry processing plant in July 2023. Following his death, the U.S. Department of Labor launched investigations, resulting in the identification of multiple safety violations at the plant. Despite these findings, Mar-Jac Poultry has denied liability, attributing Pérez’s death to his own actions and asserting that compensation should be governed by the Mississippi Worker’s Compensation Act.

The lawsuit challenges this position, arguing that the circumstances of Pérez’s employment and death warrant a legal examination beyond the scope of workers’ compensation, particularly focusing on allegations of gross negligence and potential intent to harm. The case also delves into the legality of Pérez’s employment, given that federal law prohibits minors from working in meat and poultry processing facilities.

This lawsuit not only seeks justice for the Pérez family but also aims to catalyze reform in industry practices, ensuring that such a tragedy is not repeated.

  • Legal Implications and Insights

The wrongful death lawsuit against Mar-Jac Poultry concerning Duvan Pérez’s death highlights several pivotal legal aspects that could have broader implications for workplace safety and child labor compliance.

Critical Legal Elements

  1. Child Labor Laws Violation: The case brings to the forefront the issue of child labor law violations, emphasizing the legal prohibitions against employing minors in hazardous industries such as meat and poultry processing.
  2. Workplace Safety Violations: The identification of 17 safety violations by OSHA at the Mar-Jac Poultry plant underscores the importance of adhering to established safety standards to prevent workplace accidents and fatalities.
  3. Denial of Liability and Legal Strategy: Mar-Jac Poultry’s denial of liability and the assertion that Pérez’s own negligence was the cause of his death represent a common defense strategy in wrongful death lawsuits. This approach will likely be scrutinized in the context of the company’s responsibility to provide a safe working environment.

Legal Challenges and Considerations

    • Proving Employer Negligence: The family’s legal team must demonstrate that Mar-Jac Poultry’s negligence directly contributed to Pérez’s death, a challenge compounded by the company’s denial of liability.

    • Impact of Workers’ Compensation Laws: The interplay between wrongful death claims and workers’ compensation laws, which typically limit employer liability for workplace accidents, will be a key point of contention, especially given the allegations of gross negligence.

    • Implications for Industry Standards: The outcome of this case could influence safety and employment practices within the poultry processing industry, particularly regarding the employment of minors and adherence to safety regulations.

If your family has experienced a loss due to workplace negligence or a violation of labor laws, it is crucial to seek legal assistance. Our law firm specializes in wrongful death and workplace safety cases, providing the expertise and advocacy needed to navigate these complex legal issues. We are committed to ensuring that justice is served and that employers are held accountable for their actions. Contact us to discuss your case and learn how we can support you in seeking compensation and driving change to prevent future tragedies.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What constitutes a wrongful death claim in the workplace?

    • A wrongful death claim arises when an individual dies due to the negligence or misconduct of an employer, including failure to adhere to safety regulations or labor laws.
  2. Can a family sue for wrongful death if the deceased was a minor?

    • Yes, families can pursue wrongful death claims for minors, especially when the death results from violations of child labor laws or workplace safety standards.
  3. What types of damages are recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit?

    • Families may recover damages for medical and funeral expenses, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering of the deceased, and loss of love, companionship, and support.
  4. How do labor laws protect underage workers in hazardous industries?

    • Federal and state labor laws restrict the employment of minors in certain dangerous industries and roles, setting strict age limits and working condition standards to ensure their safety.
  5. What should victims’ families consider when choosing an attorney for a wrongful death case?

    • Families should seek an attorney with experience in wrongful death and workplace safety law, a track record of success in similar cases, and a compassionate approach to representing their interests.
  6. How can a wrongful death lawsuit impact industry standards?


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Don’t navigate the aftermath of a wrongful death case alone. Let the Scranton Law Firm stand by your side. With over 50 years of experience as personal injury lawyers, we’ve helped thousands recover from their losses. If you or a loved one are affected by a wrongful death due to a rideshare accident with Lyft or Uber don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Secure your rights and seek the justice you deserve. Call us now for a free consultation – The Scranton Law Firm, your trusted ally in these challenging times. Call 800-707-0707 now.