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    Parents Want Company Held Responsible For Son’s Death

    6:20 PM, Mar 22, 2007   |    comments
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    For more than two years, the Fosters have dealt with the loss of their son, Jeremy, and it's still not getting any easier. Becky Foster, Jeremy’s stepmother, says, “Life has never been the same. It will never be the same." Jeremy worked at Deltic Timber in Ola. He was 19 at the time and working at a wood chipper when it caught his sweatshirt and strangled him. To this day, Deltic has been fined $2,250 and nothing else. Jeff Foster says, “For them to think our son's life is only worth $2,200. That's ridiculous." "You should have the right to take legal action against a company that kills your son,” says Becky. "We've had so many people say, 'If I was you, I'd contact a lawyer. I'd get a good lawyer.’" The Fosters have talked with more than a dozen attorneys all with the same answer. The parents can't sue because Jeremy was a temporary employee. "You won't get anything in Arkansas except to go visit the grave and in order to do that you have to drive by the company that killed him," says Becky. Now the Fosters are working to bring attention to this issue. They want one thing: accountability from companies found to be at fault for an employee's death. "What does this say to other employers out there?” asks Becky. “It says we don't really have to work at safety as hard as we do." Jeff says, "The law protects them from actually being responsible." They don't want anyone else to go though what they have; loosing a son who had his whole life in front of him, but died because where he worked was ruled unsafe. The Fosters talked with attorneys in other states as well. They were told laws in states outside of Arkansas would have allowed them to sue for the death of their son. Deltic won't comment on Jeremy's death, but says it has fixed the problem machinery.

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