On April 16, 2017, Arturo Gonzalez, a 42-year-old supervisor at Marshall Pottery in East Texas entered a 300-foot kiln to perform maintenance.
According to a new lawsuit, an automated system closed the kiln doors, trapping Gonzalez inside where he was killed when the kiln turned on and began to heat up. By the time EMS units arrived at the scene, Gonzalez, who had worked for the company for 11 years, was unresponsive and not breathing.
According to KSLA news, the lawsuit is seeking more than $1 million in damages for gross negligence, stating that Marshall Pottery failed to, among other things, have a proper lockout/tagout system in place, and install an emergency kill switch on the kiln.
OSHA opened an investigation into Gonzalez's death on April 18, but have yet to release any findings.
According to the company, Marshall Pottery is the largest manufacturer of red clay pots in the United States. In a statement to KSLA, the company said that it is working closely with authorities to try and determine exactly what happened and to make sure that it never happens again.
Gonzalez left behind a wife, son, and two daughters.
This is IEN Now with David Mantey.