Widow of Minden Employee Files Lawsuit

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It was just another day for a family man who passed away on the job last August. Now his wife is suing the Minden Public School District for negligent behavior leading to her husband's death.

According to court records filed in the Kearney County District Court June 18, Trina Honomichl is asking for at least $60,000 for her husband, Robert Honomichl's medical bills and funeral costs.

Last August Robert, who was 55 years old, died after inhaling toxic gas while clearing out a clogged section in the sewer system.

The lawsuit says Lift Station 5 had been clogged and cleaned twice Aug. 9 and Aug. 10. A school representative came to see the cloths being removed August 10 and took photos with his cell phone. He then alerted employees working in the bus barn that cleaning cloths weren't supposed to be disposed into the city's sewage system.

The lawsuit says when Robert responded to the call August 11, Lift Station 5 was clogged for the third time, he and his supervisor Mike Kleen saw there were significantly more industrial cleaning cloths than the days before.

Robert lost his balance after being exposed to toxic fumes and fell into the sewage at the base of the station. Kleen went to help him, but fell as well and they were both stranded for around 30 minutes. The lawsuit says they were rescued by volunteer fire crews and Robert later died at a hospital in Kearney.

Trina is also seeking Robert's future earnings as part of the lawsuit. Papers have been served to the city and school district. The city and their attorney have no comment and the Minden Public School District have yet to respond.