Articles Posted in Massachusetts Work Accident

In Hillmann v. City of Chicago, a workers’ compensation case for the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, claimant had begun working for the city’s parks district in 1973.  After he worked in the department for about five years, he took a different job for the city as a truck driver in the sanitation department.  It is fairly common for state, local, and even federal government workers to move back and forth between various departments during the years in which they are employed.   The reason for this is because it is much easier to get a government job once you already have one, since many agencies will look internally to fill openings before looking at the general public.

workerexcavatorAbout 11 years after he first started working for city, he started to suffer from cervical radiculopathy, and doctors determined that his condition was work related.  This is essentially a condition of the spine that causes pain in the back and arms and legs and other parts of the body. Continue reading

In Velecela v. All Habitat Servs., LLC, a case from the Connecticut Supreme Court, the claimant’s husband was working for employer.  His employment included repairing all terrain vehicles (ATVs).  One day at work, he had an ATV on a lift when the ATV slipped off the lift without any warning.  The ATV crushed employee when it fell off the lift, and he died as a result of his injuries.

workHis wife, who was the actual plaintiff in this case, since her husband died as a result of his on- the-job accident, was coming to meet her husband that day to bring him lunch, as she often did.  When she arrived at his place of employment, she was shocked and dismayed to find his dead body lying beneath the ATV, which had fallen off the lift. Continue reading

Investigators are working to piece together what happened to cause two workers to suffer serious on-the-job injuries during a demolition project in Quincy, Massachusetts. According to The Boston Globe, these workers were helping do a complete demolition of the once historic Wollaston Theatre.

constructionsite2Authorities say that the local fire inspectors have warned something like this could happen, due to the type of building and sad state of disrepair it had been in prior to the demolition project. A deputy fire chief said that with this type of historic structure, everything has to be in a very carefully planned order. Even when it seems all these plans are meticulously mapped out and followed, something can still still go badly wrong.

In the Quincy workplace accident, teams of investigators with the demolition company, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and local health officials were working to determine what happened.  Continue reading

A conveyor belt injury at a commercial bakery last year has resulted in a $140,000 fine from the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) to a bakery. manufacture

According to reports, it was a simple task the resulted in an unnecessary injury. She was reportedly cleaning a conveyor belt and roller in December 2015 when her hand suddenly got caught between the belt and the roller and the machine began to pull her hand. She suffered numerous broken bones in her arm and hand, but thankfully did not have to endure an amputation.

A local OSHA office investigation revealed the company was in violation of the standard hazardous energy control guidelines. Specifically, the machine had not been turned off and locked out of its power source before starting the cleaning. But this wasn’t the worker’s failing. As it turned out, they had not been trained on how to do so.

The resulting injury and hazards were preventable.  Continue reading

A utility worker in Plymouth suffered serious burns in an electrical injury while working at Myles Standish State Forest, according to The Boston Globe. Federal regulators with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have reportedly launched an investigation and will be looking to see whether any work safety violations took place. phonepole

The 51-year-old worker reportedly was in a bucket truck and was just beginning his shift that morning when he apparently touched some live wires.

He was transported by helicopter to Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital for treatment of severe burns on his hands. His clothes also were reportedly charred. He had sustained burned to his abdomen and chest as well, but his condition wasn’t immediately known. He reportedly had not lost consciousness, spoke with a paramedic and understood what had occurred.  Continue reading

Supervisors are those promoted by companies and entrusted by businesses to ensure things run smoothly and workers are properly trained and safe. But when that does not happen, can those supervisors be held separately accountable?trucksontheroad

According to the recent ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court in Parr v. Breeden, the answer is: No. It all comes down to the trade-off workers made in the so-called “grand bargain” of workers’ compensation. In that deal, made many years ago when workers’ compensation laws were first written, involved workers forfeiting the right to sue employers – even when they were negligent – in exchange for expedient, no-fault benefits when they were hurt or killed on-the-job. But it’s not just the company that is shielded by this “exclusive remedy” provision. It is our co-workers too. Even supervisory co-workers.

In all except the most egregious of circumstances, individual co-workers and even supervisors aren’t going to be found individually liable for injuries suffered by a subordinate at work. It may still be worth exploring in some instances because, particularly on construction sites, who qualifies as a “co-worker” and who is a “supervisor” might not be exactly clear. It could come down to the contract drawn up by the various contractors and subcontractors involved. Continue reading

Workers who suffer on-the-job injuries are generally and with few exceptions entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.constructionsite2

But these benefits will only cover a portion of lost wages and medical bills. In cases of fatal injuries, they may cover funeral expenses and support for immediate and financially-dependent family. They do not account for one’s pain and suffering or other non-economic damages. In most cases, the exclusive remedy provision prevents workers from suing their employer or co-workers for additional compensation except in the most egregious of circumstances.

There may be an opportunity in some situations to explore third-party litigation, but that is something that has to be considered carefully with your Boston workers’ compensation attorney. The question of who is an “employer” and who is a “co-worker” can get murky on job sites where there may be numerous entities and individuals present. The pre-arranged agreements made prior to the work accident could determine whether there is an opportunity to pursue third-party litigation.  Continue reading

Many people will remember the story of the woman who was attacked by her employer’s pet chimpanzee.  She was viciously attacked by the animal while working in the home, and her entire was face was essentially destroyed.  While this normally would have required a lifetime of wearing protective dressings and pain and suffering, she was the recipient of a full face transplant, which was an experimental procedure at that time.hideface

Since having the procedure after her horrific on-the-job accident, she was required to take drugs know as an anti-rejection agent.  Whenever someone has a transplant, there is a decent chance that the body will think the donor tissue is a foreign object, which essentially it is, and will fight the donor tissue causing the organ transplant to be rejected.  In the case of a face transplant, there is a lot of medication that is required, and that medication has a lot of side effects. Continue reading

DiCarlo v. Suffolk Constr. Co., Inc. v. Angelini Plastering, Inc., is a case that resulted in a somewhat significant change to workers’ compensation law in Massachusetts.  In a typical case, workers’ compensation is an exclusive remedy.  This means that a worker who is injured or becomes sick due to a job-related injury or illness can file a workers’ compensation claim with his or her employer but cannot file a lawsuit against his or her employer.

gavel-2-1409592-mHowever, the worker is not required to prove negligence or intentional conduct committed by the employer in order to collect workers’ compensation benefits.  The reason is because the workers’ compensation system in Boston in a no-fault system.  This no-fault system benefits the worker by theoretically making it easier to collect benefits, because all a worker has to establish is that he or she was injured or became ill, that injury or illness was work-related, and they are an employee as opposed to an independent contractor.  Continue reading

According to recent news from the Boston Globe, an employee was the victim of an alleged sexual assault while working at a doughnut shop in Norwood. She had been employed at the shop for less than 14 days when the alleged assault occurred.

mgyohUeThe alleged assault happened on December 6, 2015 during a Patriots game. There were hardly any customers visiting the shop. While she was busy making sandwiches, which was part of her job when there were no customers, her supervisor allegedly talked her into coming out to the parking lot with him to drink malt liquor. After she had a little bit to drink, he allegedly began to touch her in an unwanted manner. He first groped her over her clothing and then reached under her clothing. She told police when she tried to resist, he pulled her into a walk-in cooler and sexually assaulted her. Continue reading

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