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Mother of dead vineyard worker files lawsuit against grape company

The mother of the 17-year-old girl who died of heat exhaustion while pruning grapes in California has filed a lawsuit against the company that owns the vineyards.

Jovita Margarita Jimenez Bautista, the mother of Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez, who died last month, has filed for wrongful death and negligence against the West Coast Grape Farming company and the vineyard contractors, Merced Farm Labor.

According to news agency Associated Press, state officials have shut down Merced Farm Labour saying the company had not given her proper access to shade and water.

West Coast Grape Farming sells grapes to Bronco Wine Company. A spokesman for Bronco, reached today in California, said the company had no comment.

West Coast Grape Company is part-owned by Calfornia wine giant Fred Franzia, who is also the head of Bronco.

The case has rallied many around the cause for improved standards for workers in California. United Farm Workers organized a four-day pilgrimage from Lodi to Sacramento in memory of Vasquez Jimenez and to highlight the working conditions of migrant workers.

Written by Oliver Styles

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