Court Orders Contractor to Pay $250,000 for Safety Violations Following Fatal Fall at Dallas Apartment Complex


Dallas, TX ( - U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade has ordered Design Plastering West LLC to pay criminal and civil penalties for criminal violations of occupational safety and health standards after an employee suffered a fatal fall at an apartment complex in Dallas. The court ordered the company to pay a $150,000 criminal fine, $100,000 civil penalty, admit to eight willful violations, and to undergo monitoring by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for four years.

On May 14, 2015, a worker fell from a third floor balcony while applying stucco without fall protection. OSHA cited the company for willfully failing to install scaffolding and provide workers with personal fall protection. In May 2018, Design Plastering West LLC pleaded guilty to the willful citation on fall protection.

"This company failed to comply with well-known safety requirements," said OSHA's Dallas Region Acting Regional Administrator Eric Harbin. "This sentence should serve as a reminder that employers can be held criminally responsible for failing to protect their workers' safety."

The criminal prosecution and sentencing in this case was the result of a collaboration between OSHA, the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of the Solicitor, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Texas. 

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA's role is to help ensure these conditions for America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance. For more information, visit

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