Lawsuit Against Ithaca Dairy Farm for Death of Worker

In 2013, dairy farmworker Francisco Ortiz Garcia was caught in a piece of equipment and killed. His family, represented by Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria senior partner Richard P. Weisbeck, Jr., is suing the farm. Garcia’s family argues that the farm, Sweyolakan Dairy, allowed Garcia to use “unsafe, dangerous, and hazardous” equipment. The full story is available on the Ithaca Voice website.

Multiple farm-related deaths in Ithaca area

Garcia’s death was one of three farm-related deaths in under two years in the Ithaca area. Tom Joyce, president of the Midstate Council for Occupational Safety and Health, told the Ithaca Voice that “dairy farmworkers and their advocates believe that these deaths could have been prevented by attainable changes in farm machine technology, training, and personal protective equipment.”

According to the Ithaca Voice, Garcia previously complained to his wife about the “ill-functioning machine that eventually took his life”. The lawsuit, filed on Monday, February 2, says that Garcia was operating a John Deere skid steer loader that got entangled with another piece of machinery. This entanglement resulted in “severe injuries and death.” The lawsuit did not list a requested amount in damages, but did say that Garcia’s wife and son “were dependent upon [Garcia] for support, maintenance, nurture, comfort, advice, aid and society, which they are now deprived of as a result of the aforesaid incident.” The Voice reports that the suit against Sweyolakan Dairy also names James L. Baker, Sr. as a defendant.

About Richard P. Weisbeck, Jr.

Richard P. Weisbeck, Jr. is a senior partner at Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria. He focuses his practice on personal injury, including workplace injuries, construction accidents, and automobile accidents. He has been named to Best Lawyers in America for Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs and is among the Top 50 attorneys named to Upstate New York Super Lawyers.