SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.– San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos announced today that one of the largest recyclers in California, rePlanet LLC, was convicted and found guilty in connection with the death of one of their employees.
The criminal plea agreement to two misdemeanor violations of Labor Code §6425 puts rePlanet on probation for three years, and calls for payment of $500,000.00 in restitution for the victim’s family, a $400,000.00 fine stayed pending successful completion of probation, and a $21,000.00 fine paid to the court. Additionally, in lieu of additional fines, rePlanet will pay $140,000.00 to the California District Attorneys Association Worker Safety Training Fund, and nearly $90,000.00 to Cal-OSHA for fines and training costs.
In July, a criminal complaint was filed that alleged that the company willfully violated worker safety rules which caused the death of 61-year-old Salvador Garcia of Rialto.A truck driver for RePlanet, Garcia was crushed by a 35,000-pound earth mover at the company’s Rancho Cucamonga facility.
“The plea agreement was made only after rePlanet overhauled their site and work practices in an effort to minimize the risk that a tragedy like this will happen again,” said Lead Deputy District Attorney Douglas Poston who prosecuted the case. “Equipment upgrades, traffic controls, and safety personnel have cost rePlanet well over a million dollars in addition to the fines and payments in this case. We owed it to the victim’s family, one of whom still works there, to do our best to ensure a safe workplace was maintained and justice was done.”
The case was investigated by The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit and Cal-OSHA’s Bureau of Investigations.