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Senior Contributor

detasslers deaths & us

I've felt so bad about the kids that died detassling-such a freak accident.  Then we found out the guy who pastures our heifers is the renter of the field they were killed in.  He told DH he had cut the power in the box that went to the irrigator but obviously that wasn't the whole problem.  He had also called in an electrician but he hadn't shown up yet.

 

We were wondering if we should get our heifers home as he said there were already talks of law suits.  I know that sounds really small in the big picture of this but he doesn't have a lot of assets & we don't want the cattle "tied up" if there's problems.

 

The whole thing is so tragic.   With the heat being so bad, that's enough of a challenge to these kids trying to make some money.  This is another.  Makes you wonder how many other potential hazards are out there.  It's a really hot, sticky job-I always feel for these kids.    

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Honored Advisor

Re: detasslers deaths & us

Linda, I am so sorry to hear that this situation struck so close to home for you. Your cows shouldn't get tied up in his mess, but you might want to call your family attorney for advice, to be sure...laws vary so much from state to state.

I think he may have a real problem on his hands, given that these kids were too young to assume a risk of their own accord. Most places, you have to be at least sixteen for the law to attribute that level of,judgment to a person.

If he had knowledge that there was some problem, which it sounds like, given his shutoff of the power and electrician call, his better move would have been to take the crew out of the field. Did the kids feel some electrical shock before the couple of them were
killed? Was there any adult around for them to report problems to?

All of us have done dirty work in bad conditions, and our kids have been along for the chore a lot of times. Still, when it is a question of safety, work can wait, don't you think?
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Senior Contributor

Re: detasslers deaths & us

In Illinois it is legal for a 14 year old to detassle.  No laws were broken there.   They would have a had a crew boss.  Most crew bosses are not real old.   Maybe 21 - 24.  Someone who has worked their way up the ladder  after detassling for years. 

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Honored Advisor

Re: detasslers deaths & us

Different states have different laws, for sure. Our daughter worked a summer internship for our integrator right after high school...had to be eighteen. Maybe a company policy, rather than state law, though.

After I thought about this, I will say that unless taxis guy takes some portion of ownership in the cattle, I wouldn't worry too much. It ia a long way from " talking about lawsuits" to filing and fighting them out. Usually takes years to get to a settlelment, and most are done put of court.
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Senior Contributor

Re: detasslers deaths & us

Sorry to hear of such a close connection with this ordeal.  Do you have a contract saying that you are renting his pasture?  If you just took the heifers out, that may throw a red flag to some people, so to have a contract would help the situation.  Or are they your tags?? 

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