Sacramento construction company Teichert has agreed to pay $3 million in penalties and adopt new safety procedures stemming from a 2008 accident in Paso Robles that killed two employees working on the Nacimiento pipeline project.
San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Gerry Shea announced Wednesday the settlement approved by Judge Martin Tangeman. The agreement was reached after negotiations that avoided a trial.
The settlement promotes public safety and reduces the likelihood of a similar accident, Shea said.
The $3 million settlement will go to San Luis Obispo County as well as the state District Attorneys Association to be used to investigate worker safety issues. The money will also be used to create a special fund for prosecuting environmental and safety cases in the county and to reimburse the city of Paso Robles for its emergency services costs.
The settlement also requires Teichert to adopt new polices to improve employee safety at its excavation sites. The company does not admit fault as part of the settlement.
On the evening of Oct. 2, 2008, Teichert excavators working on the Nacimiento water project at the intersection of Niblick and South River roads in Paso Robles ruptured an underground water line. Two employees working in a 30-inch diameter pipe drowned in the resulting flooding, and a third employee’s life was endangered.
Other lawsuits stemming from the accident have already been settled. The company was also fined more than $100,000 in 2009 by the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Teichert had contracted with the county in 2007 to install 23 miles of pipeline that brought water from Lake Nacimiento to as far south as San Luis Obispo.
Reach David Sneed at 781-7930.