Plant Owner, Manager Face Manslaughter Charges

SAN FRANCISCO—A printing plant owner and his manager are each looking at up to four years in prison and fines of $250,000 after being charged with involuntary manslaughter and labor code violations in the 2008 death of a pregnant worker who was crushed by a machine, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Digital Pre-Press International (DPI) owner Sanjay Sakhuja and his pressroom manager, Alick Yeung, have been charged with manslaughter and willful violation of labor laws following the January 2008 death of 26-year-old Margarita Mojica. The victim was 17 weeks pregnant when she was crushed by the box creasing and cutting machine that she was prepping for a job.

Mojica was apparently leaning into the machine when it activated and closed on her. She left behind a husband and young daughter.

According to the newspaper, Mojica’s family and the printer settled a wrongful death civil lawsuit out of court for $6 million.

The Chronicle cited prosecutor allegations that DPI employees were not properly trained on lockdown/tagout procedures. The company was also alleged to have removed a safety bar from the machine in order to handle thicker cardboard, and the bar was not reinstalled.

Following an inspection by state regulators that took place after the accident, DPI was issued 14 citations (totaling $81,000 in fines) for not properly training workers.