Bumble Bee Foods Ordered to Pay $6 Million Following the Death of an Employee

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The Los Angeles County district attorney asked for these charges after an employee was burned to death
Bumble Bee Foods Owes $6 Million

Photo Bumble Bee Tuna Modified: Flickr/Keen Report/CC 4.0

Bumble Bee Foods makes canned seafood and poultry products.

UPDATE, Aug. 15 at 11:00 a.m.: The most recent statement from Bumble Bee Foods is: "Bumble Bee has reached a settlement with the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office related to the tragic accident that occurred at our Santa Fe Springs plant in October 2012. While this resolution will help bring closure with the District Attorney’s office, we will never forget the unfathomable loss of our colleague Jose Melena and we are committed to ensuring that employee safety remains a top priority at all our facilities."

Bumble Bee Foods must pay $6 million following the death of an employee who was burned to death in an industrial oven three years ago.

The canned seafood and poultry company was charged in April and just came to a plea agreement, according to The New York Times. This is the largest payout in the criminal prosecution of a workplace safety case involving one victim, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office told the Times.

Bumble Bee Foods will be allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge once the settlement is paid.

In October 2012, employee Jose Melena was locked in an oven with 12,000 pounds of tuna. Two employees turned the oven on for two hours, during which time the temperature reached 270 degrees Fahrenheit.

On April 28, Bumble Bee Foods posted a statement on their website that reads: “We disagree with and are disappointed by the charges filed by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. We are currently exploring all options with respect to those charges and will proceed in the manner that best serves the needs of the Melena family, our employees and the Company.”

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