Managers of printing plant where pregnant woman died face jail time

The managers of a Potrero Hill printing plant are facing jail time in connection with the brutal death of a pregnant employee who was crushed by a heavy-duty cutting machine in January 2008.

Sanjay Sakhuja, the owner and CEO of the 645 Mariposa St. plant, and pressroom manager Alick Yeung, are accused of recklessly disregarding safety regulations, causing the deaths of the worker and her unborn child, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced Monday.

Margarita Mojica, 26, of Oakland, perished when the creasing and cutting machine, which resembles a “giant, mechanized clamshell,” unexpectedly closed in on her as she reached into it with her upper body to set up a job, prosecutors said, citing court documents.

The industrial mishap occurred around 11:30 a.m. at Digital Pre-Press International, fire officials said. Emergency crews manually released the machine and pulled Mojica out within minutes, but she was declared dead at the scene, officials said.

She was four months pregnant at the time.

A yearlong investigation by the state Division of Occupational Safety and Health found gross violations at the plant that likely caused the fatal accident, District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Erica Derryck said.

According to court documents, workers at the plant were not trained to safely operate the machine. For example, they were not instructed to turn off the machine’s power before reaching into the machine to set up jobs, prosecutors said.

Also, the plant manager is required by law to make certain the machine is shut off during set-up operations, Derryck said. Additionally, the machine that crushed Mojica lacked required safety devices, prosecutors said, citing court documents.

Sakhuja and Yeung, charged with involuntary manslaughter due to the safety violations, are each facing up to four years in state prison, Derryck said. They also could be slapped with up to $250,000 in fines apiece, she said.

Sakhuja’s company, Pre-Press International, faces as much as $1.5 million in fines in connection with the fatality, Derryck added.

The defendants were expected to surrender to police Monday, which means they could be in court as soon as Tuesday, prosecutors said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocalNEP

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

After the pandemic hit, Twin Peaks Boulevard was closed to vehicle traffic, a situation lauded by open space advocates. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
New proposal to partially reopen Twin Peaks to vehicles pleases no one

Neighbors say closure brought crime into residential streets, while advocates seek more open space

Protesters rally at the site of a proposed affordable housing project at 2550 Irving St. in the Sunset District on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Ming Vong/S.F. Examiner)
Sunset District affordable housing discussion flooded with ‘scare tactics and hysteria’

Project would provide 100 units, some of which would be designated for formerly homeless families

Members of the Sheriff’s Department command staff wore masks at a swearing-in ceremony for Assistant Sheriff Tanzanika Carter. One attendee later tested positive. 
Courtesy SFSD
Sheriff sees increase in COVID-19 cases as 3 captains test positive

Command staff among 10 infected members in past week

Rainy weather is expected in the coming week. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Rainstorms, potential atmospheric river expected to drench Bay Area in coming week

By Eli Walsh Bay City News Foundation Multiple rainstorms, cold temperatures some… Continue reading

U.S. Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s powerful reading was among the highlights of Inauguration Day. (Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
Inauguration shines light in this never-ending shade

Here’s to renewal and resolve in 2021 and beyond

Most Read