PETAL, MS (WDAM) - The family of the two men who died in a work-related incident inside a sewage lift station owned by the City of Petal has filed wrongful death lawsuits against the city.
Terry West, 45, and his son, 20-year-old Gage West died after being exposed to toxic methane gas while working about 15 feet deep in the lift station on June 13, 2017.
Mayor Hal Marx said after the accident that officials believed the gas was odorless, leaving the men unable to react quickly enough before they were overcome. Firefighters tried to save the father and son but were unsuccessful.
The lawsuits, filed by the mother of Gage and daughter of Terry, claim the city failed to ensure the men were working in a safe environment or provide safety crews to treat the men if they were exposed to dangerous gases, which are common inside sewage pumping stations.
A letter sent to the city by John Holaday, the attorney representing the family members of Terry and Gage, said the lawsuits are seeking $5 million in damages.
WDAM 7 News reached out to Marx and the Petal City Attorney on Tuesday. Both declined to comment on the pending litigation.