In 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced citations for alleged safety violations that played a role Garnett's death.
Of the nine violations listed, eight were categorized as serious and one was originally listed as willful but amended to a repeat offense. The initial penalty amount of $115,000 was negotiated to $63,250, according to OSHA online records.
Additionally, the federal agency issued Cohen Brothers, Metal Shredders’ parent company, with three serious safety violations for failing to train employees in electrical safe work practices. The proposed penalties of $21,000 for those violations was negotiated to $17,000.
In April 2015, Cohen company spokesman Adam Dumes called OSHA’s finding incorrect and unfounded.
“We strongly dispute the citations but are continuing to cooperate with OSHA to bring about the withdrawal of the citations,” Dumes said in a statement. “We remain deeply saddened by this tragic loss. We consider all employees of the Cohen companies to be part of the Cohen family.”
The complaint alleges that Garnett “contacted or came in proximity to an energized electrical line causing him to sustain an electrical shock, internal and external burns, and multiple other serious injuries that ultimately resulted in his death.”
The lawsuit also alleged that inferior testing equipment may have played a role: “(Garnett) was informed or made to believe that this electrical line had been properly tested to confirm it was de-energized when in fact the live line tool voltage tester used was approximately 15 years old and had not been removed from service after two years as required.”