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Suing an employer for a workplace injury: it’s rare, but it can happen

In our last post, we mentioned a recent report by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health which suggested possible criminal prosecution for private sanitation companies who contribute to a worker’s death because of indifference or willful disregard of a legal obligation. The suggestion is an interesting one, and raises the issue of what civil remedies there may be for workers harmed under such circumstances.

Generally speaking, workers’ compensation is the exclusive remedy available to workers injured on the job. The reason for this is that workers’ compensation is premised upon an exchange of promises between employer and employee that the latter will give up the right to sue in court in exchange for predictable compensation for workplace injuries. Most of the time, then, a worker may not sue an employer for damages following a workplace injury, but it is possible. 

Worker's Arm Severed In Elevator Accident

A worker lost part of his arm in an elevator accident this morning at 50 Broadway, in downtown Manhattan. The worker, whose identity has not yet been released, was pulled out of an elevator shaft by first responders and rushed to Bellevue Hospital. Reports indicate that first responders also rushed his severed arm, packed in ice, to Bellevue Hospital where doctors were trying to reattach it. The man reportedly remains in serious condition.

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Ladder Falls Still Leading Cause Of Death In Construction Industry

Falls continue to be the leading cause of death in the construction industry. Ladder falls comprise the greatest percentage of the construction site deaths. 

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Proposed Date Of Discovery Law Is Critical Women's Rights Issue

Sometimes the application of laws can have a chilling effect on innocent victims. New York's antiquated 'Date of Discovery' laws punish a victim in the harshest of terms. The law remains without good reason. We analyze it below, using the below article to hammer home the point.

New York is a destination for patients throughout the country who seek what they hope is the best medical treatment there is to offer. Sometimes the treatment rendered by medical professionals is negligent causing the patient injury, so called "medical malpractice".

What should you know about Medical Malpractice

Report: private sanitation work particularly risky in New York City

Every industry, every job, involves some risk of harm, on some level. Granted, some industries and jobs present a greater risk of harm to workers than others. Construction, mining, and manufacturing, for example, certainly present a greater overall risk of harm to workers than hospitality, retail and white collar work. Here in New York City, one industry which involves significant risks for workers is private sanitation work.

According to a report published by the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health, sanitation work is one of the most risky lines of work in New York City. The report detailed cases of worker injuries, including cases of chemical exposure, amputation and fatality, all disturbing because many such accidents are avoidable. 

NYC Drivers: Their Own Worst Enemy

Issues such as product recalls, defective parts and crash-safety test results get the majority of the press, but the most common cause of car crashes in New York City are drivers themselves. 

That's right, drivers are their own worst enemies. 

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Could new texting device help police process distracted drivers?

We all know that distracted driving is a clear and present danger to people out on the road. It takes our attention off the road and places it squarely on a tiny cellphone screen that absorbs our focus. Although state laws have gone quite a ways in discouraging drivers from picking up or looking at their phones while driving, you can't help but feel that enough isn't being done. Distracted drivers are still out there, and even when a police officer catches them, the case that has to be made against a distracted driver is immense, given the seemingly obvious and clear-cut nature of the charge.

For example, the prosecution must subpoena the cellphone companies involved in a texting while driving accident to retrieve the data they require to prove that a distracted driver was indeed texting while driving. That process can take months to complete.

Is Your Boss On The Level?

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Can You Trust Your Boss To Tell You The Truth After An Injury?

Before you answer, let's back up a bit.

There is a harsh truth about working in construction trades. Unless you are working for a family member or close friend, you are a tool to be used. Your value comes from being able to produce results on the job site so the builder can make a profit.

If you are hurt on-the-job and unable to work, you become a financial liability. Instead of producing profit, you risk producing cost in the form of workers' compensation benefits, disability benefits or personal injury compensation.

So, can you trust your boss to tell you the truth after an injury?

For New York City road construction workers, focus must be on safety

The streets in and highways that surround New York City are among some of the most heavily traveled in the country. It’s imperative, therefore, that the city’s streets and area highways are regularly inspected, maintained and repaired. From filling in a massive pothole that’s developed over the winter months to making major structural repairs to one of the city’s bridges; construction workers who perform these types of essential jobs are at risk of being struck or backed over by motor vehicles.

Often signs and barriers are erected to warn motorists when road construction crews are active. However, these signs and plastic cones often do little to actually protect workers from being hit by a driver who is distracted or driving too fast. According to the Centers for Disease and Prevention, from 2007 to 2012, 669 U.S. construction workers died in road and highway work zones. Many of these workers were struck and killed by passing motor vehicles. The majority, however, suffered fatal injuries after being struck or backed over by a construction vehicle.

Construction Accident Attorneys Applaud OSHA Rule

The Construction Accident Attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy welcome an about-to-be implemented OSHA rule leading to transparency concerning workplace injuries. The new rule will require companies in the construction industry, as well as other dangerous occupations, to submit statistics on workplace injuries to the Federal Government. The Federal Government will then make this information available on a public website. The rule is motivated by the belief that making injury data available to the public will cause employers to place a greater emphasis on worksite safety.

David Michaels, the official in charge at OSHA, believes the regulation will improve safety because companies will want to avoid being known as a dangerous employer. In essence, the rule will aim to shame bad actors into improving their commitment to safety. 

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