Articles Posted in Workplace Injuries

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A San Diego Navy Veteran who was diagnosed in 2010 with mesothelioma, an asbestos-caused cancer, was awarded $2.4 million in damages after his disease was found to be attributed to his work in ship boiler rooms.

The lawsuit, filed against John Crane, Inc., claimed the plaintiff was exposed to asbestos while serving in the Navy from 1961 to 1971 in his work in the maintenance and repair of boilers, pumps and valves. The suit claimed John Crane made some of the asbestos-containing packing material and gaskets in the equipment.

The total damages of about $2.4 million include nearly $1.4 million in noneconomic damages and $450,000 for loss of consortium. The jury found John Crane five percent liable, the Navy and insulation companies 57 percent at fault, some manufacturers and suppliers 37 percent at fault. The plaintiff himself was found to be one percent at fault.

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In what is believed to be the largest award in a single plaintiff’s asbestos case, a jury has awarded $322 million to a 48-year-old man who is suffering from asbestosis and has to be on oxygen 24 hours a day.

The jury awarded $300 million in punitive damages and $22 million in actual damages, and found the defendants were liable for defectively designing their product and failing to provide an adequate warning to workers.

The lawsuit, filed against Chevron Phillips Chemical Company and Union Carbide Corp., states the man worked in the oil field from the age of 16 in 1979 to the mid-1980s and mixed an asbestos drilling additive. It was during this time, the lawsuit claims, he inhaled the harmful substance.

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The Missouri Lake Gazette reports a man has been awarded $750,000 for injuries suffered in 2004 while working for Pace Industries (now known as Leggett & Pratt) in Monroe City, MO.

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A jury has awarded $48 million in damages to a worker rendered paraplegic after a fall from a ladder at an Indiana steel mill. Anthony Arciniega fell from a ladder at ISG Burns Harbor — now ArcelorMittal — in November 2004. Court documents said the ladder was covered with refractory concrete due to the negligence of a subcontractor.

Building something new can be very satisfying work. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the deadliest civilian jobs in the United States, with the nation’s third-highest rate of fatalities, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Since 1959, the Louthian Law Firm has helped South Carolinians win compensation for construction injuries and other serious injuries. We always offer free, no-obligation case evaluations, and we don’t take a dime in fees until we win your case. To speak with us confidentially about your case, call us today at 1-866-410-5656.

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A week after the fires at the Imperial Sugar Co. plant in Port Wentworth started, firefighters finally managed to douse the last remnants of the refinery blast, but not before another victim was pronounced dead. Seven other people have been found dead in the rubble at the Imperial Sugar Co. plant, bringing the death toll to eight, while one worker remained missing.

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In a prime example of the lengths to which an employer will go to maintain profits and maintain a seemingly spotless safety record, a Greenville poultry plant has been accused of forcing workers with on-the-job injuries back on the job only hours after having medical procedures to repair things like lost digits and broken bones, according to an Associated Press report.

House of Raeford Farms boasts that its Greenville plant has gone more than 7 million hours without a “lost-time accident,” meaning no worker has been injured badly enough to miss an entire shift. But according to the company’s own safety logs, at least 8 workers at the plant suffered amputated fingers or broken bones – all during the time the plant claimed to have millions of safe working hours dating back to 2002. Managers kept the streak alive by requiring injured workers to return to the plant – in some cases hours after medical procedures. When none of the injured workers missed a complete shift, the company was able to keep its safety record intact.

The article details the story of Cornelia Vicente, an employee who was packing chicken tenders at the House of Raeford when a conveyor belt snagged her glove, snapped her right arm and ripped off the tip of her index finger. Only hours after her surgery, a House of Raeford nurse who had come to the hospital told Ms.Vicente that the company would expect her back at the plant early the next day. The following morning, managers put Ms.Vicente to work wiping down tables and handing out supplies, she said.

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The South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission rejected an order made by Governor Mark Sanford to begin using new uniform standards in deciding how much should be paid to injured workers with long-term disabilities.

The commission signed an order on October 25th that said that they would follow the law as written, which took into account the individual facts of each case, and not Sanford’s order to begin using uniform standards in determining the amounts awarded to the injured workers.

The commission’s order noted that lawmakers had previously rejected Sanford’s call for using the medical guidelines in workers’ compensation cases. The order, signed by all members of the commission stated that the commission “is bound by the statutory laws of South Carolina, state Constitution, Code of Judicial Conduct and commissioners’ oath of office to uphold and be faithful to these laws..

The republican governor’s executive order to force the new standards had predictably won praise from the leaders of the businesses who are responsible for paying out the monies owed to workers with long-term disabilities. With so many different variables involved in worker’s compensation cases, using a uniform standard for deciding monies owed makes little sense.

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A McDonald’s worker, who was strip-searched and sexually abused by a man masquerading as a cop got a $6.1 million jury award in her lawsuit against the fast food giant. According to a news article in The State , Louise Ogborn had filed a $200-million lawsuit against her employer alleging that McDonald’s officials had not warned her and other employees about the hoax caller, who had done the same at other chain restaurants.

Ogborn, who is now 21, was only 18 years old when the incident occurred. According to the article, the jury awarded her $5 million in punitive damages and about $1.1 million in compensatory damages. The decision came after a four-week trial and 13 hours of deliberations, the article said. Ogborn’s attorney maintained that the company was negligent although attorneys for McDonald’s argued that the company could not be held liable for what happened to Ogborn. Company officials are reportedly mulling over an appeal. In deciding on the compensatory damages, jurors said both McDonald’s and the unnamed caller were liable.

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A South Carolina Longshoreman who was injured when a steel shipping container fell onto his SUV, settled a personal injury lawsuit for $13.2 million. The settlement is thought to be one of the largest of its type in South Carolina history, according to an Associated Press Report.

Michael Clarkin suffered injuries to his legs, back, and nervous system when the container fell onto his SUV at the State Ports Authority’s North Charleston Terminal. The settlement was reached with the Ports Authority and two other defendants.

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Nearly 6,000 workers will die on the job this year. Two million will more be seriously injured. No less than 50,000 will die due to exposure to toxic substances causing cancer, lung and heart ailments from these harmful work environments.

As a result of these injuries over $3 billion will be lost from health care expenses to lost production and wages as well as other costs to employers and workers.

ITT is trying to reduce the risk of worker injury to zero. The company, which has 44,000 employees, is getting close to that goal. Other employers should read about how ITT is achieving this goal and model their workplace safety policies and procedures after ITT.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act needs to be fixed. OSHA is run by political appointees of President Bush, many of whom are former executives of the same industries they are supposed to regulate. These same heads of the OSHA organizations have discontinued safety education and training programs and worked with Bush and Republican leaders in Congress to cut their own budgets by millions of dollars they have blocked, withdrawn or weakened dozens of safety rules and stopped the implementation of other safety rules and regulations which have been recommended by safety and health experts.

One proposed rule would have required employers to provide free protective equipment including goggles, hard hats and gloves for the thousands of low-wage workers who are unable to afford these simple safety items but the proposal was blocked by OSHA.

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