This is one of those investigations with a tremendous amount of documents, logs, transcripts, and reports to review. Two divers for the State Department of Water Resources died on what was supposed to be a routine dive at the Dos Amigos Pumping Plant near Los Banos.
One of the divers, Martin Alvarado, left behind a wife and four children, and three more children by his first wife. Sara Alvarado is battling with the state – workers compensation only pays a certain amount for death benefits. Her lawyer has filed an appeal with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, alleging “serious and willful misconduct” on the part of plant managers; that would increase the payments. I was surprised to learn that the state cut off health insurance for Sara Alvarado and her four children, after her husband drowned at the plant. Losing a spouse is difficult enough – I can’t imagine facing these additional pressures.
Here are most of the reports that formed the basis for our investigation:
We have come to expect an informed and sometimes heated debate after our investigations at our blog’s comment section. We look forward to hearing from everyone, especially the state’s commercial divers who have a stake in the issues.