Family of man killed by wood chipper sues lumber company he worked for
July 29, 2020 | 11:57 am CDT
PHENIX CITY, Ala. - The family of a man killed after falling into a wood chipper is suing the lumber company he worked for.
In May, Phenix Lumber employee Brandon Van Dyke went to repair a wood chipper that had gotten jammed. A neighbor reportedly then heard an alarm go off, alerting the supervisor - who discovered the gruesome accident.
Van Dyke's familly is seeking damages, stating there has been no worker's compensation settlement for the family. The suit alleges Phenix didn't properly train employees.
The family also is going after the machine's manufacturer, saying it "created an unreasonable risk of injury and death for intended users." 
This isn't Phenix Lumber's first violation, its second, or even its third. In 2010, employee Charles Mercer died after a piece of machinery fell on his head. It was slapped with $1.9 million in fines from OSHA for "willful disregard for employee safety."
In the last four years, the company has faced 77 violations for serious safety and health concerns. There have been numerous amputations and injuries.
The suit draws attention to the company's record.


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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at