Food trucks have gained popularity in recent years. While food trucks have been commonly seen at construction sites and outside of factories for decades, these days they feature more gourmet food items and have become very trendy.
However, with increased popularity comes heightened risk for criminal activity. We have seen various cases where the trucks were burglarized or even stolen entirely, and we have also seen incidents where food truck owners and employees have been robbed. These are largely cash-based businesses, so it is not hard to see why this is a significant threat.According to a recent news article from The Houston Chronicle, a food truck employee was killed when his truck was robbed at the end of a night. He did not own the truck, as he was an employee hired to clean the truck when it was done serving customers. These trucks are often out late, because, in addition to serving customers at lunch hour, they also make a lot of money from people leaving the bars late at night.
In this case, the worker was cleaning his employer’s food truck when two men in their late 20s to early 30s approached him and demanded he give them all the money in the truck. Authorities allege that the two suspects became angry when the employee did not immediately turn over the money, and one of them shot the man multiple times. Police quickly responded to reports of gunshots and found the food truck employee bleeding to death. They did what they could to stop the bleeding and rushed him to a level one-trauma center. Unfortunately, there was nothing doctors could do to save him, and they soon pronounced him dead. As for the alleged offenders, they ran off on foot, and the police were attempting to locate them.
While this was by no means a workplace accident, he did die as a result of injuries he sustained while on the job. As our Boston work injury lawyers can explain, even when an employee is killed by the intentional act of a third party criminal, workers’ compensation is still likely the only appropriate remedy. In the case of a fatal workplace accident, the surviving spouse, or other surviving heir at law would be requesting a workers’ compensation death benefits award.
It is true that if the suspects were apprehended, the deceased workers’ family could file a personal injury wrongful death lawsuit against the alleged attackers, but it is highly unlikely they have any significant assets from which one could obtain a judgment, since they were allegedly shooting people during an armed robbery attempt.
Since it doesn’t matter the cause of the fatal injury, it is only necessary to establish that the worker was an employee within the meaning of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act, and that he or she died as a result of an on-the-job injury, and assault with deadly weapon while on the clock would likely satisfy this requirement. While this may seem strange, the family is likely in need of money since they no longer have the income their loved one was providing, and this is the remedy the lawmakers have created.
If you or someone you love has been injured a Boston work accident, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.
Food truck employee killed in robbery late Friday in early Houston, January 28, 2017, By Andrew Kragie, The Houston Chronicle
More Blog Entries:
Scope of Employment in Workers’ Compensation Cases, March 29, 2016, Boston Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog