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Franchisee sued after fumes kill trucker

By Associated Press
Published September 25, 2005

SANFORD - The family of a truck driver who died while unloading carbon dioxide at a McDonald's is suing the restaurant's franchise holder.

George Torres, 49, of Apopka, was delivering the ingredient used to carbonate soda to the restaurant Jan. 8. The storeroom was locked, so a McDonald's employee scaled a 10-foot wall and had Torres feed him a hose over the wall.

The employee, Christopher Edgar, 18, could not get out of the storeroom, and no one at the restaurant had a key. Torres then climbed over the wall, and both men lost consciousness from the fumes.

Torres died that day. Edgar died the next day.

Torres' family is suing 3BM Casselberry Inc. for negligence.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the franchisee $21,150 because of the accident, a penalty the company appealed. The agency also fined Torres' employer, NuCO2 of Stuart, $12,600.

McDonald's Corp. and NuCO2 are not named in the lawsuit, which was filed last week.

A telephone message left Saturday for 3BM Casselberry's attorney, Barbara Flanagan, was not immediately returned.

[Last modified September 25, 2005, 02:15:40]

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