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New Lawsuit Claims Wrongful Death in Soybean Explosion

A lawsuit was filed last Friday by the family of an employee who was killed in a Volga soybean plant explosion.  The suit alleges “that the company’s negligence and carelessness caused his death.”  The lawsuit claims that Randy Lee Satter, the 39 year old man, was given a “hot work permit” which allowed him to “drill, cut, grind and weld in [the South Dakota Soybean Processors plant in Volga] during the construction of the catwalk.”  Satter was sent there after his employer was contacted and hired to construct a catwalk spanning an industrial tank.  While Satter was building the catwalk, the tank exploded launching him into the air “causing Satter to fall 30 feet. He died as a result of injuries from both the explosion and fall.”

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted an investigation and concluded that both Satter’s employer, CCM Welding Repair and Fabrication, and the Soybean Processors should be held responsible for the tragedy.  CCM Welding Repair and Fabrication are stationed in Minneota, Minnesota. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration claimed that the “controlling employer did not assess and identify that the material within the tank produced flammable vapors and failed to warn the contractor performing the welding activities.”  They failed to identify the flammability levels “through the use of atmospheric direct reading instrumentation during an initial assessment or continuous monitoring to ensure the material within the tank would not produce flammable vapors that could result in a fire or explosion.”  The Occupational Safety and Health Adminstration has fined CCM $11,200 and have closed their case; $25,510 has been fined to the Soybean Processors after the investigation brought seven violations to light, the company has appealed the citations.  The suit claims that Satter’s death has not only caused economic loss to the family, but the loss of “Randy’s love, support, comfort, aid, counsel, society, companionship, guidance and services.”

Several factors must be taken into consideration for a wrongful death suit to be filed.  Our Wrongful Death page has more information on topics like who can file a wrongful death lawsuit, who the Statutory Beneficiaries are, and other commonly asked questions.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out and contact any one of our eight offices if you have any questions.


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