Wrongful Death Suit Filed by Widow After Tragic Accident

An explosion at a frozen food company in Chatsworth resulted in death for at least one man.  Now, his widow has filed a lawsuit related to wrongful death.  She has filed this against the company as well as the company that makes its electrical equipment.

Hazel Ann Schaefer is the widow that is actually suing Chef America.  The amount that she is suing for has not been released.  She has alleged that the company was using electrical equipment that they were aware was defective.  She alleged that this resulted in the death of her husband Keith who was 60 years old.   He was an electrical worker and he had been burned by an explosion that look place on July 25.

Firefighters fighting burning blazeIt was not possible to reach someone to speak on behalf of Chef America in order for them to give a comment.  A spokesman for the company did make a statement shortly after the explosion.  The spokesman said that Schaefer was working with others to replace a breaker that was on the main electrical panel.  That is when the explosion took place.

“Somebody dropped the main panel on some high-voltage wires,” the spokesman said. “There was a flash, and they were burned.”

Keith Schaefer had second and third degree burns.  He did die from these injuries at the Sherman Oaks Community Hospital. Jose Medrano, 39, of Northridge as well as Evaristo Taladera, 19, of Burbank were also injured in the explosion. These two men that were injured were not employed by Chef America as they were independent contractors. in the day there were two Los Angeles Department of Water and Power workers that had suffered from minor injuries because of a second explosion that had taken place occurred as the two were working on Chef America’s equipment after the first explosion.

When Hazel filed the lawsuit in San Fernando Superior Court she said that the distribution switchboard, circuit breaker as well as any other electrical products or systems were not working properly and they were defective.

shutterstock178505459-electrical-fire-300x200The lawsuit said that they “contained materials which caused them to generate an electrical fire during installation and/or contained a lack of certain components to make them an acceptable standard quality”.

General Electric Co. had manufactured the products and they were also named as defendants in this case.

The suit asks for an unspecified amount to be awarded to Hazel Schaefer and her daughters, Janice Contreras and Joan Forster.


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