Trucking Company Settles With Family After Tanker Explosion
A major maintenance failure took the life of a contractor who was killed in the violent explosion of a truck he was servicing. According to the lawsuit, the company failed to properly clean the trailer prior to allowing it to be serviced. This resulted in the tanker exploding, instantly killing the worker. The worker’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the company that retained control of the tanker. That lawsuit has recently been settled.
Workers’ compensation issues
The injury occurred while the worker was on the job, so it’s fair to ask whether or not workers’ compensation would pick up the tab. The answer is both yes and no. In a case like this, a worker can file a claim on their own company’s compensation policy, but they also have the option of filing a lawsuit against the second company that contributed negligence because that company does not employ them.
While a worker may be prevented from filing a lawsuit against his own employer, a contractor doing work on site would not be covered by workers’ compensation necessarily. Hence, the family could file a lawsuit against the negligent company or a no-fault claim on their company’s workers’ compensation policy. Or both.
At this point, it’s really about making the family whole. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system. If the workers’ compensation insurer wants to get their money back, they can file a subrogation claim with the defendant company’s liability insurer. Such claims are quite common under the law. Whatever money was paid out by the workers’ compensation policy would need to be repaid back from the personal injury judgment. But that’s okay, because the personal injury judgment is going to be much larger than the workers’ compensation payout, and you’ll have some money upfront while you’re waiting for the litigation to settle on your personal injury lawsuit.
OSHA issues citations
OSHA issued citations in regard to the incident. Three of these violations cited the company for exposing workers to hazardous conditions. Such incidents are known as stored energy violations. In this case, the truck could not be serviced when there was still flammable liquid in the tanker. It seems like the sort of thing that should never happen, is always fatal, and would be on a checklist. When something like this happens, it’s usually because the contractor was told the tanker had been properly prepared before servicing. However, the company denied concealing the matter and said the problem was “open and obvious”. Eventually, they settled with the estate. However, the terms of the settlement are confidential.
Talk to a Miami Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Alan Goldfarb, P.A. helps injured workers file negligence lawsuits against companies that cause work-related injuries. If you are unsure whether you can file a lawsuit, please give our Miami personal injury lawyers a call today. You may be entitled to more compensation than you are currently aware.