The family of an Elsmere man who died
after falling into a container of boiling water at a Claymont steel
factory reached an $11 million settlement with the firm responsible
for workplace safety at the plant, the family's attorney said
Anthony F. Fuhr, 35, fell into the pit through
an opening that was not protected by a safety guardrail.
Envirosource Management Corp, which was
handling safety issues at the CitiSteel USA plant at the time of
the 2003 incident, knew it was violating safety regulations by not
having the guardrail, said Robert J. Mongeluzzi, the Philadelphia
attorney hired by Fuhr's family.
"The sad part of this tragedy was that it was
a totally preventable accident," Mongeluzzi said. "For a few
hundred dollars for a guardrail, Anthony Fuhr would be alive
After Fuhr's death, Mongeluzzi said,
Envirosource Management ordered a guardrail to be placed along the
catwalk that Fuhr fell from. The firm also ordered that guardrails
be placed at other sites where its parent company, International
Mill Services of Horshanrij Pa., has operations, Mongeluzzi
International Mill Services, which contracts
at CitiSteel, would not comment Mongeluzzi said a guardrail was not
in place originally because the company decided it would interfere
with its machines.
Fuhr had been working on scaffolding Feb. 14,
2003 when he fell into a 10-by-30-foot container holding about 2
feet of boiling water. After falling into the water, which is used
to cool molten steel, Fuhr was able to climb out and yell for
Fuhr suffered second- and third-degree burns
to 95 percent of his body. He died 13 days later.
Fuhr was survived by his wife, Pam Fuhr, their
3-year-old son, Anthony J. Fuhr, and a 12-year-old son, Nick, from
a previous marriage.
"I'm glad it's over," said Pam Fuhr, who added
that she has suffered emotional and financial hardships since
losing her husband. She said the loss other husband has been a
strain on her youngest son, who sees classmates with their fathers
and asks where his father is.
Pam Fuhr said she points to the sky and tells
her son that his father is in heaven, and she tells her son that
"Daddy is still in his hear.t"
Fuhr's family filed a laws Lit in
Philadelphia, where the company was once based. The settlement was
reached Tuesday night, Mongeluzzi said, six days after the trial
"To me it wasn't about the money," Pam Fuhr
said. "I just want to make sure that no one loses their life or
goes through it again.