Migrant Farm Workers Killed in Bus Accident
Chronic long term abuses of transportation safety in the agricultural industry continue to come to the fore involving unlicensed drivers and improperly insured, unsafe transportation for migrant farm workers.
Safety concerns had originally been addressed more than fifty years ago in a landmark case involving the deaths of 58 migrant workers outside the town of Chualar, California.
Numerous accidents have occurred in the decades since. In response, lawmakers passed the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, or MSPA, which mandates that agricultural employers show that transportation is properly insured and meets safety standards.
The most recent incident occurred November 2015; a bus carrying 19 workers struck a bridge, effectively peeling the roof back. Five were killed and seven severely injured. During the crash investigation, numerous safety violations had been uncovered. Labor and National Transportation Safety Board investigations are ongoing and no further comments have been released.
Unfortunately, worker transport accidents continue to occur due to limited resources available to enforce the laws. Often minor penalties are associated with these infractions and the repercussions of noncompliance to the employers can be minimal. Further, laborers are hesitant to complain about bad conditions for fear of losing their jobs. Issues regarding non-compliance are often discovered only after an accident has occurred. Due to the structure of the industry, it can be difficult to determine responsibility as many of the workers are not direct employees of the companies that hire them.
If you have been a victim of an accident, experienced Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Ellis Law understand the physical, emotional and financial impact that accidents can have on workers and their families. Call us at 310-641-3335 to set up a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options with a skilled personal injury lawyer.