The Death of Jesus Flores

At ten o'clock in the morning of January 7, 1987, Jesus Flores, a laborer,died after being crushed beneath several tons of shale rock in a construction excavation underway for an apartment building on Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles. The contractor who directed Flores to clean the foundations below an unsupported fourteen foot high excavation wall was operating without a permit and had been previously been cited fourteen times for safety violations. The engineer who had approved of the excavation over the objection of the city building inspector was subsequently charged of criminal negligence by the Los Angeles District Attorney.

The underlying cause of the accident is a set of catastrophic environmental conditions that have their origins in the collision of crustal plates of the earth that converges on Los Angeles. However the immediate cause of the death was found in the conduct of the parties involved in the project in the days and months before the accident, a collision of a cultural kind that also characterizes Southern California.

In this trial you will be asked to decide whether the engineer, perhaps a professional of the kind you yourself aspire to be, should be sent to.......

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July 1986

January 6, 1987

January 7, 1987 9 a.m.

January 7, 1987 10 a.m.