A Nashville judge ruled that evidence of human trafficking would be allowed in the case of a 16-year-old who died in a construction-related accident in downtown Nashville last year.
Gustavo Ramirez had been working on a scaffold without a harness during construction of La Quinta Inn on Interstate Drive when he fell 120 feet to his death on June 23, 2020. Reports later showed that Ramirez had been certified as having received training to build scaffolds, despite being a minor. His family subsequently filed a lawsuit against subcontractor Stover & Sons Contractors, Inc., general contractor D.F. Chase, Inc. and EZ Distributing, Inc., accusing the companies of reckless behavior leading to the death of a juvenile.
On Friday, attorneys for the Ramirez family said that Ramirez and other children were recruited to construction jobs through a youth program by Higinio Sanchez-Gonzalez, a pastor at Casa de Oracion, where the family attended church. Attorney Karla Campbell, who represents the Ramirez family, alleged that churches were being used for recruiting minors to work for Stover, adding that three other juveniles had been brought from Mexico to work at construction sites.
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