A Florida construction worker recently died after being crushed by a 3,000-pound lumber bundle. The port worker was clearing the way for a forklift carrying the lumber. Then the forklift operator suddenly hit the brakes, and the lumber broke loose. The first load clipped the victim, and the second ran them over.
Depending on whether a third party is responsible, this would likely be a worker’s compensation matter. Benefits would provide monthly income and cover medical expenses, or death benefits for the family. In cases involving disability, the worker can receive partial or total disability benefits, plus any benefits arising from insurance policies.
However, if the employee was killed by a third party, their family would have a wrongful death claim. In these claims, the workers’ loved ones sue the responsible party on behalf of the decedent. Any proceeds from that action go to the family to cover final treatment expenses, funeral costs, and pain and emotional suffering from losing a loved one.
Who’s at fault?
Depending on the facts of the case, the worker’s family may have a workers’ compensation claim or a wrongful death claim against a third party. Third parties may include subcontractors, vendors, equipment manufacturers, the port authorities and more.
After the worker died, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) started investigating. There are no findings yet. However, if there were health and safety violations, OSHA can also administer fines to certain parties.
Wrongful death cases are tragic, especially because the death could have been avoided. If you’re facing this ordeal, an attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh in Bradenton, FL, can help you. Call today to schedule a consultation.