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James Coon Construction


Gerardo ‘Jerry’ Juarez died on his second day on the job when he fell from the roof of a three-story apartment complex upon which he was working without fall protection. According to OSHA, Juarez slipped on the damp cedar roof, slid to the edge, rolled over a jack board, and fell 25 feet to the ground below. None of the employees were wearing fall protection. Juarez had not received any training on fall hazards. Two other employes had been injured in falls prior to Juarez’s death. Bureau investigators concluded that defendant James Coon did not have workers’ compensation coverage when the employee died or during the previous falls. They also found that he lied about the business operations to avoid or limit insurance premiums. The Bureau of Workers’ Compensation found Coon employees at a worksite removing shingles from a roof without fall protection five months after Juarez’s death, despite that Coon reported his business as closed. He had also reported not having employees over several years. An audit concluded that he had paid nearly $286,000 in payroll from July 1, 2009 to July 1, 2018.


Assistant Prosecutor Devorah Pasternak

Incident Type







November 4, 2017

Available case materials include

  • Media Clips & Gov't. Press

OSHA Inspection

Contact for Additional Information



First Last Age Title Employer Injury Type
Gerardo "Jerry" Juarez Sr. 39 Info unavailable James Coon Construction Fatality


Name Type Title Plea Information Conviction Sentence
James D. Coon Individual Owner of James Coon Construction Pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and workers' compensation fraud. Charges for reckless homicide and another fraud charge were dropped. James Coon was sentenced on September 6, 2019, to three years in prison. He was ordered to pay $303,152 in restitution to the workers’ compensation bureau.
Penal Crimes Charged

Involuntary Manslaughter; Reckless Homicide

Other Crimes Charged

Workers' Compensation Fraud