Worker Falls Onto Piece Of Equipment Prompting Electrocution Wrongful Death
The estate of a worker has filed a lawsuit against a Steam Plant after a worker fell onto a piece of equipment and was electrocuted. The estate has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the utility giant alleging negligence led to the death of the 29-year-old man.
According to the suit, the man was walking atop a compartment when the metal snapped and gave way plunging him 5 feet down into electrified equipment. The maintenance on the compartment was in such poor shape that it represented a major threat to just about anyone who walked on it.
OSHA conducted its own investigation and found that the company was at fault for failing to inspect walking areas. The company was fined $150,000 and issued a citation for unsafe working conditions.
The lawsuit filed by the family will stick closely to OSHA’s findings. A finding of criminal liability can be used in a personal injury lawsuit to forgo the effort of proving negligence. OSHA has already established negligence, so the plaintiffs can set about pursuing damages. The plaintiffs are demanding $5 million and a jury trial. Workers at the facility had reported safety concerns prior to the death. They went unheeded. The plant is set to be retired next year.
Analyzing the lawsuit
When a worker is killed on the job, their family generally receives death benefits from the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. However, policies tend to only cover employees, not contractors. In cases where a contractor is killed, there may be no insurance policy to cover them and thus, they would have to file a lawsuit. In cases where they can file a lawsuit, they generally do as wrongful death pays way more than death benefits. Alternatively, some families receive death benefits and then pay them back with the wrongful death money.
Some states leave open the possibility of filing a lawsuit directly against an employer who committed gross negligence, willful misconduct, or otherwise, repeatedly violated the law. However, Florida prevents all workers from filing such lawsuits unless their employer punches them in the face, which is not an accident, and thus not covered by workers’ compensation.
The worker’s claim appears strong under the rules of the state, but in Florida, the worker would have to be a contractor to file such a lawsuit.
This is essentially a premises liability lawsuit. The defendant is accused of exposing the plaintiff to a dangerous condition without foreknowledge. The defendant had a duty of care to ensure that the premises were safe. Hence, the defendant is liable for the death.
Talk to a Florida Electrocution Injury Lawyer Today
Halpern, Santos & Pinkert represent the interests of Florida residents who have been injured in electrocution accidents. Call our Florida personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation and we can file your suit immediately.