When a worker is killed while on the job, surviving family members can seek compensation. If the worker was killed in a way that could have been prevented, the surviving family can seek damages that are both compensatory and punitive in nature. Sometimes the cases go to court for a jury to decide, but other times, a settlement can be reached between the employer and the family members. Cabell County readers may be interested to learn about a recent wrongful death case that was settled out of court.
In Sept. 2010, a man who was employed by the West Virginia Department of Transportation was raking gravel while standing on a platform in the back of a dump truck. When the driver backed up the truck and raised the truck bed, the man was ejected from the truck and thrown to the ground. He died from his injuries.
The plaintiffs sued WVDOT, claiming they created a hazardous working environment that created the possibility of serious injury or death. They also claimed that the accident caused the victim pain and suffering, anguish and personal injury. The suit was filed in 2011. The plaintiffs and WVDOT agreed on a settlement worth $900,000. The settlement will be paid as an annuity to two of the plaintiffs. In return, the plaintiffs will grant WVDOT a full and complete release from any liability.
Although nothing will bring back a loved one, receiving financial compensation for a worker’s death will lessen the stress of making ends meet. Anyone who finds themselves in this tragic and unfortunate situation can speak to an experienced legal professional who can outline the person’s rights and provide advice if the person decides to seek financial relief.
Source: WV Record, “Settlement worth $900K approved in lawsuit against WVDOT for man’s death” Kyla Asbury, Dec. 18, 2013