Grosse Ile Township officials had not admitted to any responsibility or liability regarding the workplace death of a township employee Wednesday.
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MiOSHA) cited the Township of Grosse Ile with four violations--exceeding $50,000--for an incident that lead to the death of James Farrell.
Farrell was buried under nearly two feet of mud and water for nearly 14 minutes after a trench dug to fix a broken water main collapsed on top of him on Jan. 24. He died four days later at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
Township Supervisor Brian Loftus said he and other township officials are currently reviewing MiOSHA's report regarding Farrell's death and meeting with lawyers this week to discuss the findings.
"Our obvious objectives are to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure such a tragedy never again occurs, and to defend the township from any unwarranted liability in this accident," Loftus said in a release.
In the report, MiOSHA states that Farrell's employer--the Township of Grosse Ile--"willfully" violated procedure when proper shoring work was not used to secure the walls of the trench, according to Loftus.
Loftus said the township had not paid any citations or accepted any liability Wednesday regarding Farrell's death.
A representative of MiOSHA could not be reached for comment.
*Look to Trenton-Grosse Ile Patch for updates on the investigation into James Ferrall's death.