Wife files lawsuit in husband’s workplace death


First Posted: 5/4/2015

LIMA — The wife of a truck driver killed while on the job at a SpartanNash hub near Cincinnati has filed a lawsuit.

Sarah Stevenson filed the lawsuit on behalf the estate of her late husband, Donald Stevenson. She names as a defendant SpartanNash, which also has a warehouse in Lima but its headquarters is in South Edina, Minnesota. She is seeking more than $25,000 in damages. There also are unknown companies to be identified as defendants, according to the lawsuit.

Stevenson, 65, was pinned between a wall and a metal ramp in a loading area at the SpartanNash warehouse in Blue Ash on April 30, 2014. He was dead when emergency responders arrived.

SpartanNash was formed in 2013 during a merger of Spartan Stores and Nash Finch Co. The company runs a food distribution and retail operation.

The Stevensons have three surviving children.

The lawsuit said the warehouse near Cincinnati was not in operation but Stevenson was sent there to drop off a load and clean his truck. He was required to operate a dock leveler to connect his trailer with the loading dock when the accident happened.

Somehow Stevenson’s body became pinned and he was crushed. He suffocated.

SpartanNash was the owner of the dock lever and should have known it presented a danger. The company did not do enough to ensure the safety of Stevenson and was negligent, the lawsuit said.

Stevenson’s family suffered funeral expenses, the death of their relative and a loss of future earnings by him. They also suffered mental anguish, according to the lawsuit.

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