Court denies motion to strike lawsuit regarding worker's death at metals company

By Gabriel Neves | Feb 7, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – Relatives of a man who died from injuries while at work recently were allowed to proceed in a wrongful death suit against Wendt Corporation, and Machines de Triage et Broyage in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

U.S. District Judge Donna Ryu issued a 10-page ruling Jan. 29 denying a motion to strike the lawsuit filed by Adelma Anaya, Tanya Anaya, Vanessa Anaya, and Alberto Anaya Jr. in the death of Alberto Anaya Sr. while he was working at Alco Iron & Metal Company on a metal recycling system machine manufactured by Wendt.

"On June. 30, 2017, a piece of equipment fell on him (Alberto Anaya Sr.) causing fatal injuries." court filings said. "The equipment involved in the incident was a screw conveyor" where Alberto "was killed during the

recycling system installation process."

The plaintiffs alleged that Wendt committed "wrongful death (negligence); survival action (negligence); strict products liability (manufacturing or design defect); strict products liability (failure to warn); and negligent products liability (failure to warn)," the ruling said.

Their suit seeks  punitive damages against Wendt, pursuant to the  California

Civil Code § 3294.

In their motion, the defendants challenged several portion's of the complaint, including one that stated the defendants were aware of the conditions of the conveyor belt at the time of Alberto Anaya Sr.'s death. 

In her ruling, Ryu denied all claims that Wendt made on the motion.

"Accepting the factual allegations in the complaint as true, the court finds that plaintiffs have sufficiently pleaded a request for punitive damages against all defendants," Ryu said, adding that "defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ punitive damages claims for failure to allege corporate ratification is denied."

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