The family of an immigrant worker has brought a wrongful death lawsuit against his employer after the employee died in a trench collapse. The employee had apparently not been supplied with a helmet, escape ladder, or shoring to the inside of the trench that may have prevented the collapse from ever taking place.
When a worker is injured on the job, he or she may generally seek compensation associated with the injury in two ways. First, a workers' compensation claim may be filed. Second, a personal injury suit may be filed if negligence on behalf of the employer or related parties contributed to the injury. However, the New York Court of Appeals recently narrowed the instances in which a worker can pursue both kinds of claims.
A previously unsuccessful federal workplace safety bill is being granted another chance at passage. Democratic representatives from California and Connecticut have reintroduced H.R. 691 entitled the Worker Protection Against Combustible Dust Explosions and Fires Act. The bill's enactment would help to ensure that the rate of factory worker injuries in certain industries drops by preventing explosions resulting from combustible dust.