AUBURN — A Connecticut man charged with manslaughter in connection with the fatal shooting of a worker at the former DeCoster egg farm in Turner is being sued by a survivor of the late worker.

Angelina Ortiz Hernandez of Durango, Mexico, is listed as the personal representative of Manuel Medina Adame, who died from a gunshot wound about a year ago. Hernandez’s relationship to Adame isn’t provided in the lawsuit.

Michael Warbin, 45, of Franklin, Conn., pleaded not guilty in October in Androscoggin County Superior Court to a charge of manslaughter, a Class A felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

He remains free on a $20,000 unsecured bond. A judge ordered him not to possess or use dangerous weapons while he was on bail.

Warbin shot 57-year-old Adame of Lewiston on Aug. 19 using a Smith & Wesson rifle equipped with a scope, according to an indictment handed up last year by an Androscoggin County grand jury.

The shooting occurred at Moark egg farm, formerly owned by Jack DeCoster and now owned by Land O’Lakes. Adame had been a worker at the farm for several years.


Warbin had been acting as a pest control professional while working under contract at the farm, according to a spokeswoman for Moark LLC. 

Police said Warbin, who was not a Moark employee, was shooting a .22-caliber rifle to kill rodents and stray chickens inside one of the chicken barns that was being cleaned out.

Adame died from a gunshot wound to the chest and neck, according to Maine’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Warbin’s case is being prosecuted by the Maine Attorney General’s Office and has not been scheduled for trial.

In the lawsuit, filed Thursday in Androscoggin County Superior Court, Hernandez names as defendants Warbin and his then-employer, C & M Property Management LLC of Norwich, Conn.

According to the civil complaint, Warbin was in Barn 51, shooting at chickens and mice; Adame was at work in the same barn.


After he was shot, Adame dragged himself, “leaving a trail of blood along the way,” according to the complaint. He was discovered later, but lifesaving measures failed to prevent his death, the complaint said.

The lawsuit said that the company that employed Warbin and furnished him with the rifle he used failed to provide him with proper training in controlling rodent populations. The company knew or “reasonably should have (known) that . . . Warbin’s use of the .22-caliber gun would place others at an unreasonable risk of harm.”

Warbin’s use of the gun to kill rodents was negligent, and Adame’s death resulted from Warbin’s negligence, the suit said.

Before he died, Adame “experienced conscious pain and suffering,” according to the lawsuit.

The complaint said that Warbin’s negligence includes:

* failing to exercise ordinary care to prevent shooting a person;


* failing to determine where it was safe to discharge the firearm and thereby placing others in danger;

* using an unsafe and inappropriate method of killing rats by employing a dangerous firearm with live ammunition; and

* ignoring basic tenets of workplace safety rules and regulations.

C & M’s negligence, according to the complaint, includes failing to:

* establish and enforce rules to ensure its employees were able to perform their duties in a reasonably safe manner;

* provide adequate supervision; and

* properly train its employee.

Hernandez is seeking to recover damages, including funeral expenses, income loss, emotional distress, loss of comfort, society and companionship, as well as punitive damages.

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