​For release on August 3, 2015  CONTACT:
Bud Porter, Deputy District Attorney
Workplace Safety Unit
(408) 792-2962
  CONSTRUCTION COMPANY OWNER, MANAGER GET 2 YEARS FOR INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER OF WORKER IN MILPITAS   A construction company owner and project manager were sentenced on Friday to 2 years in prison by the Hon. William J. Monahan for causing the 2012 cave-in death of a laborer in Milpitas.   Earlier this year, after a 2 ½ month trial, a jury convicted Richard Liu, 53, the company’s owner and CEO, and Dan Luo, 37, the project manager, of the involuntary manslaughter of Raul Zapata.   “The death of Raul Zapata was no accident.  This was a homicide in the workplace,” prosecutor Bud Porter said. “Justice has been served today because these defendants are criminally responsible for the death of another human being.”   Zapata, 39, was in his second week working on the hillside project, where a home was being built by the general contractor, U.S.-Sino Investment Inc., of Fremont.
On January 25, 2012, after a recent downpour, a city building inspector gave a “Stop Work” notice to the project manager because of the danger of a cave-in of the unsupported dirt walls. The work did not stop. Three days later, Zapata was crushed to death when several thousand pounds of dirt and rock fell on him.
Zapata, of Zacatecas, Mexico, is survived by his wife and three children.   # # #

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