Company was misrepresented |

Company was misrepresented

Dear Editor:I read your story about the widow who is suing Fenton Construction for the death of Everado Garcia Lopez (Nov. 17). This story creates two issues which I’d like to discuss. First of all, Belen is not his widow, as they were never married. I realize this is not important in matters of love and death, but since this is becoming a lawsuit let’s call a spade a spade (or a nonwife a nonwife).Secondly, I know the owner of European Roofing Designs – and what he personally went through at the time of Everado’s death. He was very concerned with Belen’s welfare and was truly worried that she wouldn’t be compensated through his insurance because of their relationship status. He was willing to do whatever he could to make sure she was taken care of (even if out of his own pocket), but his workers’ compensation carrier advised him not to take any steps on his own. (It should also be noted that the $4,200 fine for one of the violations you mentioned was dropped two years ago.)This story and the lawsuit paint both European Roofing Designs and Fenton Construction to be callous and negligent in the safety and welfare of their employees. There are certain risks with maintaining a company here in the Roaring Fork Valley that everyone is facing – one being the communication barrier between the available work pool. (There are many other obvious risks, but that’s a separate and long story.) “The roofing firm was also cited for not ensuring that the forklift driver was properly trained.” How can one ensure proper training is actually instilled when most of his or her employees neither speak nor understand English? You can have all the required insurance coverage as both European Roofing and Fenton Construction do, the necessary safety equipment, and try to make sure your crew is following OSHA standards, but “accidents happen.” I guess sadly enough, what I’ve come to understand about our culture (it’s obviously spreading to others) is when accidents happen, lawsuits happen. Concerning Everado’s girlfriend, Belen – why wait two years to realize “suffered grief, loss of companionship, an impaired quality of life, pain, suffering and emotional stress?” Did her new boyfriend of three months post-death not help her through these issues? Is winning a lawsuit going to bring any of those aspects of her life back? No. But the money will sure come in handy. Lauri E. BeckwithAspen

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