Suit filed in death of Fairbanks warehouse worker

Posted: Thursday, June 07, 2001

FAIRBANKS (AP) -- The father of a warehouse worker killed in 1999 when a bundle of steel pipe fell on him has filed suit against the pipe company and several transportation firms.

Daniel Hoppe, 31, died May 19, 1999, shortly after the pipe fell on him while he was unloading it from a trailer in the front lot of his employer, Crescent Electric Supply Co.

The suit was filed by Hoppe's father, Virgil Hoppe, the representative of Hoppe's estate. It seeks damages from the Allied Tube and Conduit Corp., Alaska Cargo Transport, Aloha Cargo Transport, D & S Transport, and several individuals both named and unnamed.

Alaska State Trooper Dennis Dupras, who inspected the scene, said it appeared Hoppe had been cutting bands securing bundles to the trailer when the weight shifted. The pipe struck Hoppe, causing severe internal injuries to his upper torso.

There were four levels of pipe bundles on the trailer. Troopers and police speculated there may only have been one bundle stacked at the highest level and that it may have shifted down and dislodged a lower bundle when Hoppe snapped the bands off.

The bundle that struck Hoppe reportedly weighed a ton and contained 25 steel pipes that were each 10 feet long and 3.5 inches in diameter.

The suit charged that the plaintiffs caused Hoppe's death by failing to load the pipes safely or properly.

The suit, filed last month, seeks more than $100,000.

Crescent Electric, Hoppe's employer at the time of the accident, was not named in the lawsuit.

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