Minnesota Farm Sued Over Methane Poisoning Death

Minnesota Farm Sued Over Methane Poisoning DeathA Minnesota hog farm has been sued by the widow of a man who allegedly suffocated from methane inhalation while working there.

Yesenia Tolentino Sevilla says her husband, Carlos Ramierez-Perez, was working for Schoenfelder Farms in February of 2010 cleaning a barn when he died of methane inhalation, according to the Rochester Post-Bulletin. She claims the barn's managers did not leave fans on in the barn to displace the methane gas within it, causing Ramierez-Perez to be asphyxiated.

Sevilla also claims her allegations are supported by the findings of authorities – she says the Eyota Fire Department took air samples in the barn on the day of her husband's death and found high levels of hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide. She also alleges the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited the barn for not operating within its safety standards.

Sevilla seeks more than $50,000 in damages in her toxic substances lawsuit.

According to OSHA, methane gas is classified as a simple asphyxiant, meaning that it may cause suffocation by displacing available oxygen.