Articles Posted in Work Injuries

If you work in construction, landscaping or health care, you know there are many hazards that come with the job. Those who are injured at work in Florida may be eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits, which are the exclusive remedy one has against his or her employer in such matters. However, there could be grounds for a third-party liability lawsuit if there was a person or entity other than the employer who was responsible for what happened. gavel

In the recent case of Newton v. Caterpillar Corp., plaintiff worked as an independent contractor (and therefore not eligible for workers’ compensation), assigned to help clear debris of the private lot of a residential area. He was hired by a hauling company to assist its agent in doing this job. Plaintiff and this agent used a Bobcat loader to assist in helping to clear the lot. The hauling company didn’t own the loader. It was leased from defendant Caterpillar. The loader was brought to the site in a box trailer to the property, where plaintiff and agent worked to clear the land.

At one point, while the two were trying to move a tree stump into the trailer, the agent was operating the loader and asked plaintiff to get inside the trailer to pack down the debris that was coming in. While plaintiff was inside the trailer, the agent released the tree stump. Plaintiff tried to warn the agent he was still inside, but he couldn’t be heard. He tried to climb over the wall of the trailer, but the stump dropped from the loader’s bucket and then rolled back onto plaintiff’s hand. As a result, his middle finger was severed.  Continue reading

It’s a decision that could have far-reaching consequences for many Florida workers’ compensation lawsuits. Florida’s 1st District Court of Appeal ruled it unconstitutional for a police officer and her union to be barred form paying a retainer and hourly fees for a lawyer in a workers’ compensation case.policecar

In Miles v. City of Edgewater, the three-judge panel struck down the state law that limited the officer’s ability to pay for a law firm to represent her as she pursued workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury.

State law puts tight limits on attorney’s fees for workers’ compensation cases, and this has long been a point of bitter contention. The way it works is attorneys are paid strictly on a contingency fee basis, which is dependent on the amount the plaintiff is awarded. If plaintiff does not receive any money, neither will the attorney collect fees.  Continue reading

The Alabama Supreme Court has revived two lawsuits filed after one worker was killed and another seriously injured when they were struck by a tanker truck on the job. truck2

The two worked at a recycling company. Although the exclusive remedy provisions of workers’ compensation law make it nearly impossible to sue employers for work-related injuries, the two plaintiffs took action against three third-party defendants, including a lead company across the street that had assumed responsibility for safety inspections.

Those cases, Fleming v. Sanders Lead Company Inc., et al and Williams v. Sanders Lead Company Inc, et al were consolidated  for purposes of summary judgment hearing and appeal.  Continue reading