The family of a man killed when the counterweight on an industrial oven door crushed him has dropped a federal lawsuit against the maker and designer of the industrial equipment he was trying to repair. Aleksandr L. "Sasha" Berelovich, 54, of Newport News, Va., a maintenance mechanic for Craft Machine Works in Hampton, Va., was crushed to death as he attempted repairs on the oven door at Craft Machine Works.
The suit alleged that the equipment's designers — Flinn and Dreffein Engineering — designed an unsafe furnace system that caused Berelovich to get killed. The lawsuit also named F&D Furnace, which later bought the engineering firm, and three companies with ownership in Flinn and Dreffein Engineering as defendants. Specifically, the kill switch for the oven door was located in an area that was difficult to reach.
Because the employees at Craft who originally purchased and installed the equipment decades ago were no available, it was impossible to ascertain who was responsible for the location of the kill switch. Had the switch been located where it was at the behest of Crown, the case would fall under a workers’ compensation claim, for which the victim’s family had already been compensated.