Workplace Accidents and Injuries

February 8, 2012, by Price Benowitz LLP

It has become my daily practice to surf the net scouring for knowledge and interesting tidbits. I love knowing random things. This quest for knowledge often leads me to interesting stories. It leads me to pieces that make me laugh and feel good. On other occasions, I read shocking events and I am mortified that such tragedies could occur. When I read these stories I shake my head and think that clearly some people are a lot more malicious and maniacal than the villains in the cartoons and movies that I allow my son to watch.

Today I read such a story. Some of my friends even acknowledged that they changed their opinion of Apple after reading this story. I decided I needed to know what they were talking about. As I read the story, I learned about the fire. I learned about people that suffered burns on their face because of a fire in the plant where they worked. I also learned about three workers who lost their lives by doing the right thing and working for the things they wanted. In reading the editorial pieces, blame was placed on greed and consumerism. Much to my dismay, I also read opinions like "I don't care if the factory is unsafe, they choose to work there and I want my Ipod cheap." The basic arguments were about consumer greed, free will and free market. I also began to think legally and critically about the situation. I thought about where the blame lies and what would happen to the family. I realize that this was not an American situation, but I pondered how American law would handle it.

My mentor used to say she started in personal injury and worker's compensation because she realized people are not computers. If they break, you cannot throw them away. You have to take the time to fix them, to make them whole again. In American jurisprudence this means you have to start by assigning fault and damages. The fault says who picks up the bar tab at the end of the night and the damages say how much each person has to pay. In cases where there is a death, determining liability would lead to the decision that the bill is to be split between among the builder, the management, and the owner. Those three entities are charged with making sure the facility is safe. No employee goes to work with a building inspector, nor should they have to. The people who are responsible for the building need to make it safe and provide adequate protections.

The bad guys are not always easy to spot in real life. The villainy of a corporation should not come at the cost of an individual's life. If you or your loved one has been hurt and a corporation is at fault, contact an attorney to understand your rights.