LaFleur family sues DuPont over July death at plant

David Yates Aug. 23, 2007, 9:43am

The family of Lonnie LaFleur, the worker who lost his life last month while extracting a heat exchanger at the Dupont plant in Orange, Texas, has filed a wrongful death suit.

According to a recent article in the Orange Leader, a spokeswoman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the investigation is open and ongoing and has up to six months to complete its investigation.

A Turner Industries employee and Louisiana resident, LaFleur was working at DuPont Sabine River Works on July 24 when the exchanger crushed him.

Even though the investigation is still ongoing, LaFleur's benefactor, Debra Lynn Stevens LaFleur, is not waiting for OSHA's findings.

She claims both Turner and Dupont De Nemours negligently caused his death, filing a wrongful death suit with the Orange County District Court on Aug. 16.

"The methods for extricating the heat exchangers required by the defendants were exceptionally dangerous ... and showed a complete conscious disregard for LaFleur's life and safety," the suit said.

The suit goes on to list 34 acts of alleged negligence committed by the defendants, which include failing to provide competent personnel, failing to perform a job safety analysis and failing to warn LaFleur of the dangers of heat exchangers.

The suit does not go into detail about the circumstances surrounding LaFleur's death, but does allege that Turner and Dupont acted with malice.

Lafleur's family is suing for punitive damages, medical expenses, physical pain and mental anguish.

The plaintiffs are requesting a trial by jury and are represented by attorney Trent Bond of the Reaud, Morgan & Quinn law firm.

The case has been assigned to the 128th Judicial District.

Case No. A070397-c

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