On a personal note, I attended a recent meeting where a Franchise Associate from the Caterpillar Company addressed an audience of franchisee’s regarding the recent fatal accident at a small plant in Manchester, Ohio. During the address the franchisee spoke about the lawsuit that his son died on. He then asked all those in the audience if they minded if they discussed the case with me. Many of the attendees advised him to take the case, and he said; “I don’t mind at all.”
At that point, I was somewhat disturbed, because I did not realize at that moment who this man was. However, upon further investigation I found that this man was an IP attorney from Manchester, Ohio. In fact, he represented the Caterpillar Company at the time of the accident. The story he related was absolutely riveting to say the least. He stated that there were over a hundred people injured when the Caterpillar crew arrived on the scene to assess the damages following a machine breakdown at the manufacturing facility there. The injured workers were all given no medical assistance until one of them ventured out into the factory unchecked, because his worker’s comp insurance would not cover him for that type of injury.
When the C Caterpillar executive’s son, Michael, approached the injured man, Michael immediately motioned away and started to walk away, but then in an abrupt movement, slammed his son’s head on the ground. Michael stated that his son was pronounced dead at the scene. As I listened to Michael’s story, I thought to myself; “If this pans out to be what happened in Manchester, Ohio, it could well be one of the worst scenarios that I have ever heard of in my life.” That is just one of the many horrific stories of workers losing their lives due to employer negligence.
Michael was just one of many that lost their lives while trying to gain benefits under the Worker’s Compensation program of the United States Department of Labor (DOL) based in Rockford, Illinois. Michael’s mother, according to court documents had been receiving mental and emotional support from her daughter, prior to the accident; but after the accident, she was too grief stricken to be able to attend to her son. Michael’s father was also receiving benefits from the Workers’ Comp program; however he lost his benefits because his claim was deemed ineligible due to the fact that his car had been modified at the time of the accident. Michael’s mother, along with her other daughter, has been seeking damages from the company and the United States Department of Labor for their negligence which caused their loved ones to suffer injuries which resulted in their deaths. Michael’s mother is a single mother of four children; the tragedy of losing her husband and having to support her family on her own was heartbreaking. She has also suffered chronic back pain ever since the accident.
The case has been filed against C Caterpillar located in Dayton, OH. The manufacturer is being sued for leaving an unsafe environment for the machining employee while on the job. There were no safety precautions in place to prevent this poor safety practice from taking place; this caused the workers to have severe back problems. When this negligence was discovered by C Caterpillar, they released a document to their entire employees instructing them on how to properly use their equipment. Unfortunately, not every employee to read this document or was given the information needed to follow it.
In a recent article on the Nautilus Times website, one of their contributors stated that he/she was recently in a fatal car accident; however, the article did not mention that the contributing party was an employee of C Caterpillar. This case is just one of many that have been occurring across the nation and it shows that accidents can happen regardless of who is responsible for maintaining the working environment. It is important to make sure that if you are involved in an accident that you contact an attorney that specializes in these types of lawsuits. The longer that an injured worker is without compensation or medical attention; the worse the consequences can be.