Lawsuit Blames Lowe’s For Worker’s Electrocution Death
A lawsuit has been filed against a Las Vegas area Lowe’s after a worker suffered a fatal electrical shock injury while installing LED lighting. The lawsuit claims that the worker was electrocuted after coming into contact with exposed wiring. According to the lawsuit, Lowe’s contracted with a company called Stratus Unlimited to perform construction. Stratus Unlimited contracted with a company called Opus Prime to handle electrical work. The lawsuit claims that neither company was licensed to perform this sort of electrical work under Nevada State law. The lawsuit states that the incident occurred because no one cut power to the LED lights as they were being installed. This failure directly led to the death of the worker.
In addition, the worker was not covered by any of the companies’ workers’ compensation policies.
Analyzing elements of wrongful death and negligence
Lowe’s is accused of hiring an out-of-state electrical company without the proper licensure to perform electrical work in the State of Nevada. This is the type of incident that OSHA refers to as a “stored energy accident”. In this case, the area was electrified as the worker was performing the installation. The stored energy electrocuted the worker, causing his death. This is a very basic safety failure. The worker likely believed that power had been cut to the area before he began servicing it.
The lawsuit names each of the three companies in the complaint. Lowe’s is blamed for negligent hiring while the other companies are blamed for failing to secure the area of stored energy before it was serviced.
The family of the worker has a strong argument for wrongful death in this case. Several failures took place and these directly led to the death of a contractor.
Workers’ compensation immunity
Generally speaking, workers are covered by workers’ compensation. This means that in most cases, they cannot file lawsuits against their employers even in cases of wrongful death. However, if the company does not have workers’ compensation insurance covering their employees, then they can file a lawsuit directly against their employer. Most states, including Florida, require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. However, contractors are not typically covered by companies that they contract with.
Lowe’s, for example, would not carry workers’ compensation insurance for their subcontractors. Those policies would be held by the companies they work for. In this case, there was no workers’ compensation policy. This allows the employee’s family to sue the companies for wrongful death. In Florida, this lawsuit would still be actionable against Lowe’s and other related parties who contributed negligence to the worker’s death. Workers’ compensation immunity only applies to your own company, not companies for which you contract unless they specifically purchase a policy for subcontractors.
Talk to a Florida Electrocution Injury Attorney
Halpern, Santos & Pinkert represent the interests of Florida residents who have been injured in electrocution accidents. Call our Florida personal injury attorneys today to schedule a free consultation and we can begin discussing your allegations immediately.