A judge's gavel. Photo via Pixabay.
Photo via Pixabay.

The three children of Anaheim man who died after becoming entangled in a mobile asphalt crusher in Corona are each entitled to millions of dollars in damages from the company that sold and designed the machine, their attorney told a jury Thursday, but a lawyer for the company said the man’s death is still shrouded in some degree of mystery.

The Los Angeles Superior Court trial stems from a lawsuit brought against North Dakota-based General Equipment & Supplies Inc. on behalf of the three children of Rolando Anaya. His two sons are currently 17 and 11 years old; and his daughter is now 14. The suit was filed in September 2015 by Eliza Perez, who was Anaya’s domestic partner.

Anaya, 34, was killed on Oct. 7, 2013, after he became entangled in the conveyer belt of the machine at the R.J. Noble Co. asphalt plant while cleaning debris and loose rock, according to plaintiffs’ attorney Donald Liddy.

The area below the cone crusher and tail pulley of the conveyor belt did not have a protective guard, Liddy said. There also were no pull cords allowing a worker in the vicinity to stop the machine immediately in an emergency, according to Liddy, who said the device had a design defect.

Liddy showed jurors several photos of Anaya with his children, saying the decedent was dedicated to his offspring and their well-being. All three have lost their father’s love and companionship, Liddy said.

General Equipment attorney John Kaniewski said his client’s company did not design the machine, but only sold it to R.J. Noble. He said Anaya was alone at the time of the accident and there were no witnesses.

Kaniewski also said Anaya’s employer also deserves some blame for the man’s death, telling the jury that R.J. Noble had a “disregard for safety.”

–City News Service

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