Dairy farm reaches settlement in wrongful death suit


A settlement has been reached in a federal wrongful death lawsuit by the family of one of two young people who died at a dairy farm in the region.

The family of 17-year-old Francisco Martinez reportedly reached the $100,000 agreement with Yankee Springs Dairy Farm in Barry County and its owner in U.S. District Court.

In 2010, Martinez and 18-year-old Victor Perez, workers at the business, were overcome by fumes emitted by decaying molasses in a tank at the farm, about 20 miles southeast of Grand Rapids.

Authorities say they died of asphyxiation after being trapped in the oxygen-depleted environment.

The Perez family has a lawsuit pending in Barry County Circuit Court. Trial is planned next month.

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