YouTube influencer faces lawsuit after worker crushed to death in York missile silo renovation
YORK, Neb. (KOLN) - A YouTube influencer who purchased an old missile silo in York and renovated it into a studio apartment is being sued for negligence, after a worker was killed late last year.
Mary Arkfeld filed the lawsuit in August against 26-year-old Andrew Flair, of Blair, and three of his Omaha companies after her 66-year-old husband, Joseph “Joe” Arkfeld, died Dec. 20, 2022 while doing electrical work on the property. According to the lawsuit, Joe was crushed by a steel door.
The complaint says, “Joe spent several tortuous moments trapped and unable to free himself from the force of the door, likely terrified, knowing he was about to die.”
Joe’s son-in-law discovered his body, and a tow truck was needed to pry open the door.
The lawsuit goes into detail about alleged issues with the door and that Joe received “inadequate instruction as to how to lock the door.”
Flair purchased the abandoned U.S. nuclear missile silo and created a series of videos on his YouTube channel documenting the renovation efforts. His channel has more than 2.7 million subscribers.
The lawsuit includes links to several of Flair’s YouTube videos where safety protocols were mocked.
Our partners at 10/11 interviewed Flair in June shortly after the unique property hit the real estate market for $750,000.
Flair’s attorney filed an answer to the lawsuit denying nearly every allegation the Arkfeld family makes, including that Joe died from the crush. Flair’s attorney then filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Sept. 27. A hearing on the matter is set for Dec. 14.
The lawsuit does not indicate the amount of money the Arkfeld family is seeking. Via their attorney, Mary and her family declined a request for further comments.
Our partners at 10/11 also reached out to Flair’s attorney and are waiting on a response.