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Workplace accident at recycling plant kills 26-year-old father

A tragic incident in another state underscores the potential dangers posed for workers in recycling plants in New York and elsewhere. A workplace accident resulted in the death of a 26-year-old father of a toddler in January. It's under investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The office of the county sheriff also launched a separate inquiry.

It appears that nobody witnessed the incident that caused this young man's death. When his co-workers reported that he was missing, it was determined that he had fallen into a machine that shreds tires. It is believed that he got caught and pulled into the shredder. However, these are simply assumptions at this stage, and investigators delve into the details and also assess the level of safety compliance practiced at this plant.

The surviving family members have announced their intention to file a lawsuit against the company. They believe that their loved one's death was caused by gross negligence. Their legal representative has launched an independent investigation.

In New York, injured workers or the surviving family members of a deceased victim of a workplace accident are typically barred from filing claims against employers, unless there is evidence of gross negligence. under any circumstances, they can pursue financial relief through the workers' compensation insurance system -- regardless of who was at fault. However, if there is proof of egregious conduct by the company, the employer may face claims for financial damages that go beyond what are likely available through the workers' compensation system. Establishing gross negligence in such lawsuits is typically challenging, and the help of an experienced attorney may be necessary.

Source: New York Daily News, "Young father dies after accidentally falling into tire shredder at recycling plant", Caitlyn Hitt, Jan. 31, 2018

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