Family of Fayette doctor crushed by paper bale files suit
By Liz Zemba
Published: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The wife and children of a former Fayette County physician who died when he was crushed by a 1,100-pound bale of recycling paper have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a Connellsville Township couple.
Mark Fremd, 56, died Dec. 19, 2011, at Allen Enterprises & Recycling on Bellview Road in Bullskin.
Fremd was crushed when the bale of paper fell on him as he walked along a dirt ramp at the facility, according to a report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
In the civil lawsuit, Fremd's survivors name as defendants the recycling center's owners, Rodney F. Allen and Linda Carlton of Connellsville Township. Contacted by phone at the center on Monday, Carlton declined to comment.
At the time of the fatal accident, another employee, Michael Crosby of Bullskin, said Fremd was helping to move large paper bales onto a skid loader when he was struck.
In the lawsuit, Greensburg attorney Joseph Massaro Jr. claims the business was negligent because of the manner in which it stored bales of paper for recycling.
“Defendant stacked or allowed to be stacked uneven bales of recycled paper three to four bales high on top of one another, creating a hazard where the incident occurred,” Massaro wrote in the suit. “Defendant allowed the improperly stacked bales to remain in a dangerous and improperly stacked position for more than two weeks, causing them to settle and become more unstable.”
The suit alleges that a dirt ramp used to access the 1,100-pound bales with a skid loader was improperly maintained and had 2-foot-deep ruts, “which created an uneven and unstable base for the storage of the baled paper.”
In its report, OSHA found that unevenly stacked bales of paper were stored outdoors, three to four bales high, on an uneven dirt base for more than two weeks.
One bale, which had become wet and top-heavy, fell on Fremd as he walked on the ramp, according to OSHA's report.
OSHA fined Allen Enterprises $10,800 and issued it four citations, three of which were listed as serious, according to spokeswoman Joanna Hawkins of the Department of Labor's Philadelphia office.
Fremd was a Connellsville physician whose license was suspended because he was convicted of trading prescription medications for sexual favors.
In 2003, a jury found Fremd guilty of trading prescription medications for sex and bilking his insurance carrier out of thousands of dollars. He was sentenced to 18 to 36 months in state prison.
The accident that killed Fremd was similar to one that occurred on May 19, 1997, at the same center.
Christopher T. Floyd, 30, of Connellsville was crushed when a 5-foot-high stack of cardboard fell on him.
At that time, state police said Floyd, who was employed as a skid loader operator with B&R Recycling, was standing beside five bales of packaged recycled cardboard stacked atop one another.
Police said the bales, estimated to weigh as much as 1,000 pounds each, fell onto the dock where Floyd was standing, pinning him to the concrete.
After an investigation by OSHA, B&R was cited for seven violations, including failure to store materials properly and failure to properly train forklift operators. B&R was assessed penalties totaling $4,800.
Liz Zemba is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-601-2166 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Connellsville junior ROTC program a training ground
- FAA pushes for upgrades to Fayette airport
- WVU students aim for billiards record to help Make-A-Wish
- Troop cuts worry vets in Fayette
- Geibel 3-sport star enjoys tapping onstage
- Addison gemologist has keen eye for ‘wearable art’
- Geibel musical director enjoys ‘group of very talented dancers’
- Dawson council to meet tonight
- Rural King Supply confirms store opening in Dunbar Township
- Former public defender sues Fayette County officials over firing
- Brownsville Area Redevelopment Corp. chief ousted after 9 weeks