At the ripe young age of 24, most think they are invincible and look at life and the future as full of endless possibility. For one young North Carolina man, those possibilities ended when he was involved in an accident at a landfill where he was working as a temporary employee back in 2010.
Since the accident that took the young man’s life, his mother has filed a workers’ compensation claim with the NC Industrial Commission, collected entitled benefits, and filed a lawsuit against the county for wrongful death and negligence. Her son died after being hit and killed by a trash compactor on the grounds of the landfill where he worked. While it was previously thought that the claims might be dismissed due to the workers’ compensation received and employer immunity do to the man’s temporary status, the NC Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s dismissal on New Year’s Eve.
Initially, the mother and her attorney thought that the county would be immune due to government immunity. However, because the county landfill makes millions of dollars every year, that was not the case. If the mother now wins the case, she will be required to return the roughly $50,000 she received in workers’ compensation which would be deducted from whatever settlement she receives. Due to North Carolina law, the amount of the settlement will not be allowed to be disclosed, but sources feel that since it involves the death of such a young man, the amount will be of considerable size.
Workplace accidents are a horrible reality of industrial work environments. If you find yourself a victim of an industrial workplace accident, please contact an attorney practiced in the area of workers’ compensation law. As your advocate, they will be able to assist you in recovering monies available to your circumstances.
Source: shelbystar.com, “Landfill death ruling reversed,” Jessica Pickens, Jan. 15, 2013