Minnesota Company Fined in Storm Sewer Deaths

September 24, 2009

A construction company has agreed to pay $28,000 for violating state labor laws in the deaths of two workers who drowned when a flash flood swept a storm sewer in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Lametti & Sons Inc., of Hugo, reached a settlement with the Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which reduced five ‘willful’ violations to two, less serious infractions. The company initially faced $106,600 in fines.

Twenty-three-year-old Dave Yasis of Maplewood and 32-year-old Joseph Harlow of Plainview were working in the storm sewer in July 2007 when they were swept into the Mississippi River.

A wrongful-death lawsuit, filed by Yasis’ family, is pending in Ramsey County District Court. A similar lawsuit by Harlow’s relatives was settled for an undisclosed amount.

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