The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

January 23, 2007

Family of man killed in ADM blast files a suit

The family of a man who died as result of an industrial explosion filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday, seeking more than $10,000 for medical and burial costs, mental pain and anguish and punitive damages.

The wife, mother and four children of Carmen Wayne Rivers filed the suit in Garfield County District Court, alleging ADM Milling, the manufacturer of a vacuum conveyor system and Kelvin Woods and Wayne McZegle were re-sponsible for a Jan. 24, 2005, explosion at the plant that killed Wayne Rivers.

Rivers was hospitalized for 23 days before he died from the injuries he suffered in the explosion, according to the suit.

An October 2005 Occupational Safety and Health Administration report said the deadly blast at ADM Milling was caused by three flour hoses that were not properly bonded to a vacuum conveyor system.

ADM was fined $1,625 for violations that led to the explosion.

The suit uses wording from the OSHA report to explain the cause of the explosion. Sparks in the system ignited flour dust, which then caused the explosion.

The suit also claims the defendants had “sufficient knowledge to be substantially certain that an explosion would occur” because “numerous employees” had complained to management of the dangers of the vacuum conveyor system.

The suit seeks more than $10,000, plus interest, for the cost of the suit and other relief the court may “deem just and proper.”

District Judge Ronald Franklin has been assigned to the case.

Calls to ADM were not answered Tuesday afternoon. A message left with the Rivers family was not returned Tuesday evening.

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