Wrongful death suit filed for veteran killed in workplace incide - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Wrongful death suit filed for veteran killed in workplace incident

(Source: WIS) (Source: WIS)
CALHOUN COUNTY, SC (WIS) -

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed for an Army veteran killed in a workplace incident at a chemical plant in Calhoun County in December.

Attorneys for the widow of 63-year-old Alton Zeigler say his death could have been prevented. Their lawsuit alleges the Eastman Chemical Company did not implement adequate safety procedures and failed to exercise reasonable care that could have spared Zeigler’s life.

The former master sergeant was killed while doing maintenance on a leaking pump owned by Eastman. Something malfunctioned and the solution escaped from the pipe and spilled over Zeigler and two other employees, according to the Calhoun County Coroner.

The suit alleges a fire that occurred days earlier altered the chemical makeup of the pipeline's contents and increased pressure, leading to an explosion. The explosion caused the solution in the pipeline, which was heated to about 572 degrees, to spill onto Zeigler and two other people.

The suit goes on to allege that Eastman knew, or should have known, the danger the altered chemicals posed, but that the company failed to warn the three employees of the risks associated with the compromised pipeline.

Attorney David Hoyle who is representing the Zeigler family says knowing that the death of Zeigler could have been prevented, makes his passing that much harder for his loved ones. 

Eastman has not yet commented on the suit.

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