Explosion in grain elevator: Failure to control dust:
Sept. 16, 2002.
Jurado-Melendez, 27, was performing repairs in the boot pit of
a grain elevator owned by Agri Co-op when an explosion occurred.
He was buried in 10 feet of corn and asphyxiated. He is survived
by his wife and two minor daughters.
Jurado-Melendez's widow sued Agri Co-op. Plaintiff asserted that
defendant had allowed excessive dust to accumulate in the elevator,
had failed to use systems for dust control, and had allowed the
elevator leg to operate while her husband was in the boot pit.
Plaintiff also asserted that defendant had failed to properly
train its workers and had failed to adhere to U.S. occupational
A jury found defendant entirely responsible for Jurado-- Melendez's
death. It returned a verdict for approximately $2.13 million,
of which $2 million represented compensation to Jurado-Melendez's
wife and daughters for loss of society and companionship and $125,000
was for Jurado-- Melendez's pain and suffering.
Plaintiff's experts were Jerry Hall, mechanical engineering,
Ames, Iowa, and Kenneth Ward, fire and explosion investigation,