Articles Posted in Workplace Injury & Workers Comp

In May 2010, chickens on the grounds of Parx racetrack outside of Philadelphia spooked the horse upon which exercise rider Mario Calderon sat.  The horse threw Mr. Calderon off and he died from the injuries he received.  A jury ordered Parx to pay $7.8 million to Mr. Calderon’s family because it found that the track should have known the chickens posed the type of danger that killed him and they allowed them to exist on their grounds.  Just recently, a Pennsylvania appellate court upheld the judgment.

What was Parx’s response?  Make sure their grounds are free from hazards and safer to the people that work and make a living there?  No.  Parx responded by attempting to force all of the jockeys riding at the track to essentially sign waivers of liability.  Parx conditioned the jockeys’ ability to ride at the track on signing the waiver.  The waiver reportedly included terms that required any claims to go through arbitration and limited the authority of an arbitrator to assess damages.  The form also would give the track the absolute ability to remove a jockey from its grounds.

As an attorney who is also a huge horse racing fan, these actions concern me.  Race tracks need take responsibility for their property.  If hazards and dangers exist on the grounds that make it unsafe to those who work or visit there, then address them.  It is pretty common knowledge that thoroughbreds can be high strung animals and prone to getting spooked.  So, why not take a look around and eliminate things that can spook horses, which can seriously injure or kill someone?  Sure, no property owner can make their place absolutely safe, but anything within reason should be done instead of just maintaining unsafe practices and trying to keep those who may get hurt because of them from holding you responsible.

These forced arbitration clauses continue to creep into many aspects of our consumer and work lives.  They show up in credit card, mobile telephone, employment and nursing home agreements or paperwork, to name a few.  They show up in places where the consumer or worker has no true and real bargaining power.  If you do not like it and do not agree to it, then you will not get the credit card, telephone, job or admission into the nursing home.  The problem comes when our courts uphold these one-sided agreements, which has happened all to frequently.  Fortunately, organizations and movements out there exist to fight these insidious clauses.  One such movement is Take Justice Back.  TJB is a pro-civil justice movement that fights the well-funded interests, such as the big businesses and industries, that want to use these clauses.  It sees forced arbitration as an avenue to keep ordinary people from holding these more powerful interests accountable in a courtroom with a jury rather than in an arbitration where the deck is stacked in favor of the company who wrote the clause.

The 7th Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees us a right to a trial by jury and thereby access to the courthouse when we need it.  Let’s keep it that way.

37 year old Felipe Mata Fiscaya suffered fatal injuries after falling down an elevator shaft at the CEMEX plant in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Mata Fiscaya worked as a contract laborer for a company based in Alabama. He was performing work at the plant.

Details are sparse right now. The facts and circumstances surrounding this incident could have a significant impact on how any legal claims coming from it proceed. More than likely, Mr. Mata Fiscaya’s surviving family members will have a workers’ compensation claim, if the incident happened while he was within the scope and course of his employment. A workers’ compensation claim for death due to work injuries covers any medical expenses and provides a death benefit to the surviving family members.

His surviving family members may also be able to bring a civil claim, if someone or something outside of the employer-employee relationship was responsible for his death. A wrongful death and survival action, if possible, would pursue any damages not allowable in a workers’ compensation claim, such as loss of consortium and physical pain and mental suffering, if any.

A full investigation is necessary in order to determine exactly what happened and how it happened. Only then will the surviving family members be able to determine what claims they may pursue.

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A typical day at the office turned deadly for a Frankfort man on Monday afternoon. According to the Jefferson County deputy Coroner, 50-year-old Norman Kiper was working at his desk at Bill Collins Ford on Bardstown Road near the service area of the dealership. A second employee was driving a vehicle into the service center when he mistakenly accelerated instead of braking. The vehicle struck Kiper and pinned him against his desk.
Kiper was immediately transported to University Hospital where he was later pronounced dead from his injuries.
Like most states, Kentucky mandates that injured or killed employees be covered by and receive benefits under workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation offers no-fault benefits. That means that regardless of whether the employer, employee, a co-worker or some other unrelated third-party was at-fault, an injured employee can receive benefits. The only requirement an employee must meet to obtain workers’ compensation benefits is that her or she be injured or killed while working.

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The Winchester Fire Department was dispatched to the Save-A-Lot distribution center in Winchester, Ky. following a workplace accident involving two Save-A-Lot employees. Both employees sustained injuries and one was immediately airlifted to an area hospital.
The company continues to investigate the incident. Because this was an accident which occurred at the employee’s workplace, the employees will likely be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In Kentucky, it is the responsibility of an employer to furnish an employee or their family with medical and disability benefits when an employee is injured or killed in a job-related injury.
There are a number of additional legal issues that may be considered, as well. For example, while the employees will likely have a viable claim for workers’ compensation benefits, they may also have claims against other responsible individuals or entities outside of the employer-employee relationship. Answers to questions such as whether something involved in the incident was defective and whether there were any breaches of safety rules and regulations that led to the accident need to be explored and answered.

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An employee of local cement company, Cemex, was struck by a vehicle and killed as he tried to direct traffic on Dixie Highway Tuesday evening. 59-year-old Robert “Bernie” Allen, of Meade County, was attempting to stop traffic in the northbound lane of Dixie Highway in order to make way for a backhoe when he was struck by a Chevrolet pick-up truck.

Allen was holding a stop sign and was dressed in reflective clothing at the time he was struck. Nonetheless, Louisville Metro Police report that the driver of the truck that struck Allen simply did not see Allen nor the stop sign and police will not be charging the driver. Police continue to investigate the accident and have not ruled out drugs or alcohol as a factor.
Kentucky mandates that employees who are injured or killed while on the job are covered by and receive benefits under workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation offers no-fault benefits. That means that employees or their estates can receive benefits regardless of whether the employer, employee, a co-worker or some other unrelated third-party was at-fault. The only requirement that must be satisfied in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits is that the injury or death must occur while the employee is working and within the scope of their employment. Benefits can include death benefits, payment of medical expenses, partial substitution of income loss during periods of disability and compensation for permanent impairments from injuries.

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A 25-year-old construction worker fell four stories while working on renovations at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field. Angel Garcia, employed by Lindamood Demolition, was transported to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center where he ultimately died of his injuries.

OSHA, Texas A&M, the university police and the project’s general contractor are investigating the accident.

Most states, including Kentucky, mandate that employees who are injured or killed while on the job are covered by and receive benefits under workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation offers no-fault benefits. That means that employees or their estates can receive benefits regardless of whether the employer, employee, a co-worker or some other unrelated third-party was at-fault.. The only requirement that must be satisfied in order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits is that the injury or death must occur while the employee is working and within the scope of their employment. Benefits can include death benefits, payment of medical expenses, partial substitution of income loss during periods of disability and compensation for permanent impairments from injuries.

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A Mount Vernon man tragically was killed in a workplace accident while working on a construction project at the Mount Sterling-Montgomery County Airport. Carl Williams, 73, was employed as a subcontractor with Bex Construction of Lexington. While working on the roof, Williams and another man lost their balance and fell between 20 and 25 feet off of the airport roof. The unidentified man landed on top of Williams. Both men were transported to an area hospital.
Williams was subsequently pronounced dead and the unidentified man was reportedly transported to the hospital and subsequently released.

Like most states, Kentucky mandates that injured employees be covered by and receive benefits under workers’ compensation laws. Workers’ compensation offers no-fault benefits. That means that regardless of whether the employer, employee, a co-worker or some other unrelated third-party was at-fault, an injured employee can receive benefits. The only requirement an employee must meet to obtain workers’ compensation benefits is that her or she be injured while working. The benefits include payment of medical expenses, partial substitution of income loss during periods of disability and compensation for permanent impairments from the injury.

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A recent workplace accident sent one man to the hospital with severe injuries after a truck fell on him, crushing his body. Daviess County Sheriff’s Office responded to the call at Yager Materials located on U.S. Hwy. 60. According to reports, Simpson was repairing the front axle of a truck when the axel somehow fell and landed on him. Upon arrival to the scene, emergency responders found Simpson unconscious and not breathing. He was subsequently transported to Owensboro Health Regional Hospital and police report he is in critical care
Because this was an accident which occurred at the workplace, Simpson will be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In Kentucky, it is the responsibility of an employer to furnish an employee or his family with medical and disability benefits when an employee is injured or killed in a job-related injury.

It’s possible that Simpson could have a potential civil claim, as well. Typically, worker’s compensation is the sole means of recovery in a workplace accident. However, if it is can be determined that a third party caused the accident, the employee may file a civil claim against that third party.

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A New York man was killed Monday, August 12, 2013 after being fatally struck by an excavator tooth in an industrial accident at MJL Crushing. Willard Moser, an employee of MJL Crushing in Lowville, New York, was attempting to dislodge an excavator tooth within a crusher. As Moser was peering into the crusher, the excavator tooth dislodged and struck him. Moser was pronounced dead at the scene.

Because this was an accident which occurred at the workplace, the surviving family members will be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits which cover any medical expenses that may have been incurred and a death benefit for the surviving spouse and/or children.

It’s possible that the surviving family could have a potential civil claim, as well. Typically, worker’s compensation is the sole means of recovery in a workplace accident. However, if it is can be determined that a third party caused the accident, the employee’s surviving family may file a civil claim against that third party.
It is likely that the excavator tooth was not supposed to become lodged and possibly could be due to a defective design or manufacturing defect. If this is the case, the surviving family is entitled to file a civil claim against the potential third party and may be entitled to civil damages.

An investigation is ongoing into the cause of the accident and the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is expected to investigate the fatal industrial accident.

We use our blog as a forum to educate the public using real life events. However, we are very sensitive to the fact that these real life events have resulted in a tragedy that will inflict great pain and sorrow on those involved and those close to the victim(s). As such, we understand that they may not approve, and we will immediately remove a post if a victim or their loved ones makes that request.

An African-American nurse claims that a Michigan hospital agreed to a man’s request that no black nurses care for his newborn.
Tonya Battle tells the Detroit Free Press she “didn’t even know how to react” when she learned about the request at Hurley Medical Center in Flint. The hospital management said it “does not comment on past or current litigation.”

The lawsuit claims a note was posted on an assignment clipboard reading, “No African American nurse to take care of baby.” She says that later was removed, but claims black nurses weren’t assigned to care for the baby for about a month because of their race.
The lawsuit recounted how the neonatal intensive care nurse was at the infant’s bedside when a man came in and she requested to see the hospital-issued identification wrist band given to parents of patients. The man responded that ” … I need to see your supervisor.” A supervising nurse spoke with the father who told him he didn’t want African-Americans to care for his child.

“There is growing concern around the country about how this could be in 2013,” a representative said. “There will be growing pressure as Hurley continues to be quiet.”