Ultratec Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Black Friday Hiring Bump

Nov 25, 2015

Ultratec pyrotechnics facility in Owens Cross Roads, Ala.

The family of a woman who was killed in an explosion at the Ultratec pyrotechnics factory in north Alabama has filed a wrongful death lawsuit.

Reports indicate the family of Virginia Marie Sanderson filed the lawsuit yesterday. The family is seeking an unspecified amount of damages from the company. Sanderson was one of two employees killed in February's explosion at the Owens Cross Roads facility just south of Huntsville.

The lawsuit says the company failed to provide Sanderson with a safe work environment. The family is requesting a jury decide the amount of damages they're entitled to. They're also asking for court costs.

Madison County Sheriff's deputies say the explosion happened during the fireworks mixing process. An August investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration resulted in 14 safety citations.

Alabama shoppers are expected to be out in full force for this year’s Black Friday shopping. APR student reporter Taylor Swinney has more.

Retail stores are expecting big numbers again this year for the annual Black Friday shopping spree. The unofficial holiday typically calls for more jobs from retailers and, according to the Communication Manager for the Alabama Retail Association Melissa Warnke, Alabama will see more people working this holiday season.

“During the months of November and December, we are forecasting a net of about 1000 jobs that have been added to the state of Alabama specifically for the holiday shopping season. Of course, it’s a busier time, so they’re looking to add those extra employees.”

Warnke also says that by creating these jobs, it will open up opportunities for Alabamians who are looking to get into the workforce and possibly earn full time positions.

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, many people will be traveling to visit friends and loved ones.

AAA Alabama spokesman Clay Ingram says the significant decrease in gas prices will most likely impact travel conditions this weekend. AAA’s research shows that there is currently a 0.6% increase in people traveling this year.

“Gas prices this year are much much lower than they were this time last year. Our state average right now is right at $1.90 per gallon. That’s almost 80 cents a gallon less than we were this same day last year, so that’s a huge difference.”

Ingram says this drop is due to the decrease of crude oil prices. Alabamians are encouraged to make adequate time for travel and get their cars checked out before hitting the road for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Hillary Clinton will headline an event in Alabama soon commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

Clinton's presidential campaign recently confirmed her upcoming appearance at the Dec. 1 event in Montgomery hosted by the National Bar Association.

The panel event will be held on the 60th anniversary of Rosa Parks' 1955 arrest for refusing to give her bus seat to a white passenger. Her arrest sparked the 381-day boycott of Montgomery buses by African Americans.

Clinton will speak at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, the church led by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the boycott. The event is titled "The Role Lawyers Played in the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Civil Rights Movement."

This will be Clinton's second trip to Alabama during her 2016 presidential campaign. She spoke to the Alabama Democratic Conference in October.