Digital Pre-Press International Owner Pleads Guilty in Death of Pregnant Employee
The owner of a San Francisco printing company has pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of an employee, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Sanjay Sakhuja, owner and CEO of Digital Pre-Press International, has pleaded guilty to one count of involuntary manslaughter and five counts of labor code violations related to the death of Margarita Mojica, a 26-year-old woman who was killed in the factory on Jan. 29, 2008.
Mojica, who was four months pregnant at the time, was reaching into an industrial cutting and creasing machine to set up a job when it started unexpectedly, crushing her to death. Her unborn child did not survive.
Prosectors said that workers at Digital Pre-Press International had not been properly trained on safety procedures for the machine, which should have been shut off and locked prior to any employee reaching inside. The machine also lacked required safety devices, according to court records.
Sakhuja, who initially pleaded not guilty, could face $250,000 in fines and up to three years in prison when he is charged on Oct. 11. Alick Yeung, the pressroom manager at Digital Pre-Press International, also pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of violating state and OSHA labor regulations. He was sentenced on April 10 to 150 hours of community service and three years' probation.
The company itself was charged in the case, and may be sentenced to fines ranging from $50,000 to $150,000 and five years of probation. Digital Pre-Press International previously settled with Mojica's family, including her surviving husband and daughter, for $6 million.
"The law should afford everyone the right to a safe working environment," said San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón. "Corporations and their owners should be held criminally liable for fatalities at the workplace."