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Sheet metal worker dies in roofing accident

Don Loppnow Jr., 55, of Oconomowoc, died Wednesday from injuries sustained during an off-duty construction job in Door County.

While performing roof work on an unfinished house in Sevastopol, Loppnow slipped off a dormer atop the three-story structure, according to a Door County Sheriff incident report. He reportedly fell onto a porch extended from the top floor before landing on the ground face-down.

According to the report, his work partner, Jeremy Miller, attempted to resuscitate Loppnow after finding no pulse, but he was declared dead at the hospital.

Door County officials reported the possible workplace death to the Appleton branch of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Supervisor Bob Hager said his office initiated an investigation but determined there was no employer-employee relationship.

Despite doing work on the house owned by his former employer, Craig Coursin, president of MSI Development Corp., Oconomowac, Hager said Loppnow was recently laid off due to slow business and therefore was not being compensated for his work. As a result, Hager said OSHA could not issue citations despite Loppnow not wearing fall protection gear, among other potential safety violations.

Loppnow was a sheet metal worker with MSI for 37 years, according to his obituary. He is survived by his wife, Kandy, and four children, Don, Kalvin, Cheyanne and Ciara.

— Joe Lanane

One comment

  1. Appears that the former employee was collecting unemployment and then working off the books. Does anyone think he was doing this work for no compensation ? I suppose if you hired a Brazilian worker (undocumented worker) to clean your gutters andf he fell to his death off the ladder, that you would not be considered his employer because you paid him for his services. The independant contractor seems like a big loophole for liability for employers. No wonder why Linda McMahon of WWWE fame has no employees, only independent contractors. This way when one of them breaks their neck or dies of steriod overdose she is not considered an “employer”.

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