A jury has awarded $56.5 million in damages to Kyle Anderson, a worker who was only 20 years old in 2011 when he was injured in an accident that left him paralyzed and unable to speak. According to a report in the Sacramento Bee, the Humboldt County jury delivered the verdict against Caltrans, the second big one that went against their favor in just four weeks. Back in January, the department was ordered to pay $35 million to a UCLA football player who was injured in an intersection that he argued was poorly designed. …Read the rest »
Category: On-the-Job Accident
Dave Rafferty, a 30-year-old equipment mechanic and welder, was killed in workplace accident after being pinned under a loading dock plate at the Del Monte Foods plant in Modesto, which he was sent to repair. According to a report in the Modesto Bee, the fatal accident occurred June 15, 2016. The Stanislaus County Coroner’s office determined that Rafferty died of a crush injury to the chest. The metal plate under which he was found was too heavy to be lifted by the person who found him.
More Questions Than Answers
His wife, Amanda Rafferty, says she has a lot of questions including why her husband was working alone and how long he was trapped under the plate before he was found? Was there an equipment malfunction? Why was she not contacted by anyone from Del Monte or the California Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Cal/OSHA), which is investigating the incident? Del Monte has issued a statement saying that they are working with local authorities.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Dave Rafferty, particularly his wife Amanda and their young child, for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. We offer our sympathies to them.
What Caused This Fatal Accident?
Based on this news report, it appears that there are more questions than answers here. What caused Rafferty to become trapped under the heavy plate? As his wife says, why was he working alone? Was he being supervised at the time? Did he have all the proper equipment and safety gear needed to perform the repair job? Did an unexpected equipment malfunction cause the fatal accident? Was Rafferty not warned about a dangerous condition before he took on the job? These are just some questions that must be answered in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
Justice for Workers and Families
In such cases where a worker dies on the job, his family can seek workers’ compensation death benefits from his employer. However, California workers’ compensation benefits are woefully inadequate when it comes to compensating a family for the loss of a primary wage earner or breadwinner, not to mention the loss of a beloved husband and dad.
In addition to claiming workers’ compensation, families may also be able to file a third-party claim against a party other than the employer, depending on the circumstances of the case. Examples of third parties include contractors, sub-contractors, property owners and manufacturers of defective products. An experienced California job injury lawyer will be able to help secure and preserve crucial evidence and assist the family will seeking and obtaining the compensation they rightfully deserve.
A construction worker died the afternoon of March 17, 2016 after falling 53 floors from a high-rise building in downtown Los Angeles. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, the incident occurred at the Wilshire Grand, a hotel under construction at 624 West Figueroa Street. The worker fell and struck the back of a car that was traveling on the street. No one else was injured. The worker was pronounced dead at the scene. He had been working on the tower’s 53rd floor.
Cal/OSHA officials identified the worker as an electrician, but haven’t named him. The job site will be shut down for two days so the OSHA investigation can take place. The man was not wearing a tethering harness, which is required under the law for workers who are operating at any height over 6 feet. He was also not seen wearing a hard hat.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members and friends of this deceased construction worker. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. …Read the rest »
Seven workers are still in the hospital, several in critical condition, after the partial collapse of an on ramp along the Highway 91 in Corona October 9, 2015.
According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, 16 workers were at the site the night of October 9 positioned along the 750-ton concrete bridge.
They were removing blocks and shims during a jacking process to lower the bridge. One-fifth of the way through the lowering, the wooden supports …Read the rest »
Los Angeles prosecutors have charged Bumble Bee Foods and two of the company’s managers with violating safety regulations in the death of a worker who was cooked in an industrial oven with tons of tuna on October 11, 2012. According to an Associated Press news report, Jose Melena was performing maintenance in a 35-foot-long oven at the company’s Santa Fe Springs plant before dawn when a co-worker mistakenly believed Melena was in the bathroom, filled a
pressure cooker with 12,000 pounds of canned tuna and turned it on. …Read the rest »
A construction company with offices in Irvine is one of several companies cited for safety violations that state officials say led to the death of a worker when a bridge was demolished as part of a widening project on the 91 Freeway. According to a news report in the Orange County Register, the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has fined the general contractor as well as a subcontractor hired to take down a railroad overpass near 14th Street in downtown Riverside. The man who was killed was working on the bridge.
Fatal Incident on Bridge Project
SEMA Construction that has a regional office in Irvine was fined $54,935 for four violations, three of them classified as “serious.” Subcontractor Hard Rock Equipment Rentals of Corona faces penalties of $50,850 that are linked to seven violations, six of them serious. The accident in question occurred on May 18 when a bridge section collapsed onto empty eastbound lanes. An employee of Hard Rock Equipment Rentals tethered to the structure by a safety harness was catapulted onto the pavement. The worker, Okesene Faasalele, 59, of Long Beach, died from injuries suffered.
Serious Safety Violations
Hard Rock apparently used a Caterpillar front-end loader for something it was not designed to do, to anchor a section of the bridge. The loader was carrying more weight than it could handle and got pulled in the direction of the bridge as the victim was torch cutting the last floor beam. The portion of the bridge connected to the loader fell 22 feet taking the victim with it.
Both companies have appealed the fines. Although the victim worked for the subcontractor, Cal/OSHA has maintained that the general contractor had an obligation to ensure safety for the entire project. Cal/OSHA cited SEMA for violations including failure for not having a contingency plan for an unplanned bridge collapse, failure to communicate the need for a fall protection plan with subcontractor supervisors, failure to include procedures for correcting unsafe work practices and for not identifying the hazard of cutting floor I-beams on the bridge.
Third Party Claim
When a worker is killed in an on-the-job accident, his family can seed workers’ compensation death benefits. However, it is a fact that workers’ compensation benefits in California are woefully inadequate when it comes to compensating a family for losing a primary or sole wage earner. In such cases, victims’ families may be able to file a third-party claim against a party other than the employer whose negligence may have caused or contributed to the fatal incident. An experienced Orange County personal injury attorney who has successfully handled third party claims will be able to help victims or their families better understand their legal rights and options.
Charles Nicholas Sarris has filed a lawsuit against a Los Angeles equipment supply company that was hired to make a giant novelty tongue slide for pop star Miley Cyrus’s new Bagerz tour.
According to a report on TMZ.com, Sarris says he was hired to help with the slide construction, but was badly injured on the job.
He alleged that he was not provided the tools and equipment he needed for the job, which caused him to fall and suffer serious injuries.
Sarris also claims that the company, ShowFx Inc., failed to warn him about the potential dangers involved with the job. He is seeking unspecified damages.
Cyrus has been “making a grand entrance on to her Bangerz tour stage by
sliding down the inflatable tongue, which hangs out of a massive projection of her own face,” according to Rolling Stone magazine.
Cyrus’s video twerking and sticking out her tongue at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards went viral last year. Rolling Stone reports that Sarris’s incident is not the first reported injury associated with the Bangerz tour.
During the Anaheim show on February 20, opening act Sky Ferreira fell during her first song and cut her leg open. She was hospitalized later and got 60 stitches.
January 27, 2013—Astoria, New York–A construction accident at the site of a new apartment building in Queens resulted in the death of a worker who plunged 15 feet into a basement, striking his head on a steel girder, according to witnesses and news reports from the NY Daily News.
Unsafe Conditions May Have Been Present
The 42-year-old unnamed employee was working at the Broadway site when he fell through a hole in the first floor. He plunged fifteen feet into a basement area and was struck by a steel girder. He was rushed to the hospital but died of his injuries. Workers who were interviewed about the accident refused to give their names but confirmed the circumstances of the man’s death.
Work at the site was called to a halt with the Department of Buildings investigated. The general contractor employing the worker, Centex Builders, has not commented on the death or investigation. …Read the rest »
It is somehow incongruous to actually trust the IRS to provide real protection and/or information on any subject.
However, if one realizes the IRS in extremely self serving, one understands immediately the nature of their helpful information: If you keep safe from identity thieves, hackers, scam artists and the like, you will retain more of your money. And if you have more money, the IRS can take more of your money.
Identity theft and phishing top the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) list of “dirty dozen” scams, which tend to peak this time of year as millions of Americans gear up to file their tax returns. …Read the rest »