Articles Posted in Workers Compensation

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Local News

International Paper Mill, Lathrop Avenue, Savannah

International Paper Mill, Savannah

58-year-old Ricky Salter was reportedly killed while working at the International Paper Co. Sunday, August 31, 2014.

According to media reports, Mr. Salter was working at the West Lathrop Avenue paper mill on Sunday when the fatal accident occurred. Sadly, Mr. Salter perished at the scene.

Media accounts of the accident cause and location are conflicting.  Police spokeswoman Julian Miller reportedly told The Augusta Chronicle that the accident occurred “in or around an elevator.” Mill spokeswoman, Karen Bogans, apparently told The Savannah Morning News that the incident occurred “in the paper roll handling area of the mill and that the cause of death has not been determined.”

In an email statement to media, Ms. Bogans reportedly announced, “Ricky was a valued and respected member of our Savannah team and was an employee at our mill for more than two years. We are deeply saddened by the death of our team member and friend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ricky’s family and friends.”

The mill is allegedly conducting a full investigation into the accident and told media that the appropriate agencies have been notified.

Our Legal Take

Advocates for employee rights at The Murray Law Firm are following the accident closely and question whether an unbiased investigation will be performed on behalf of Mr. Salter’s family.

Was the facility in line with OSHA paper mill safety requirements? When was the machinery and area around the accident last inspected?

Was the accident a consequence of a mechanical malfunction or a lack of facility safety measures? What emergency safety precautions, such as an emergency stop, safety rail and motion sensor, were available to Mr. Salter at the time of the accident?

Police and company accounts of the accident appear to be conflicting per media reports. The mill is apparently conducting a full investigation into the accident. Will this company investigation damage or destroy evidence needed for a thorough OSHA investigation? Will an unbiased, third party investigation be performed on behalf of the Salter family before evidence is repaired, damaged or destroyed?

As Ricky Salter was working at the time of his death, his family is almost certainly entitled to substantial workers’ compensation benefits per Georgia law. Additional claims may also be filed should a mechanical malfunction or improper safety inspection have contributed to this tragedy. Claims of this magnitude will serve as a grave reminder to International Paper and other southeast paper mills on the need to make employee safety their first priority. By demanding companies implement proper safety precautions, many other lives may be spared.

Photographs and a thorough, unbiased inspection of the facility will need to be performed on the family’s behalf without delay to ensure all evidence is preserved and their best interests are protected. Unfortunately, employers and insurance companies are often more concerned with limiting their own financial exposure than protecting victims and their families. As such, having an experienced workers’ compensation firm to handle such negotiations can often mean the difference of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Murray Law Firm works tirelessly to protect victims and families devastated by catastrophic work accidents and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 912.385.9690. Consultations are free and confidential.

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Local News

Ajit Pandey (Fox News)

Ajit Pandey (Fox Atlanta)

Ajit Pandey was fatally shot and killed at the Big Brother 2 Food Mart convenience store in Atlanta Sunday night, August 24, 2014.

According to Fox Atlanta, Mr. Pandey was working as a store clerk at the Big Brother 2 Food Mart on Norwood Road in Atlanta late Sunday evening when he was shot multiple times in what appears to have been a robbery.

Mr. Pandey moved to the United States only a few years ago and had been working at the convenience store to help to his friends.

Mr. Pandey was working alone Sunday evening. The store closed at 10:00pm. When the store owner arrived at 12:15am, he discovered Mr. Pandey near the front door. He had been shot multiple times and, tragically, perished at the scene.

Police believe robbery may have been the motive for the shooting. They hope store surveillance cameras and neighbors may help detectives identify the shooter.

Our Legal Take

Convenience Store Shooting Surveillance Footage (Fox Atlanta News)

Convenience Store Surveillance Footage (Fox Atlanta)

Workers’ compensation experts at The Murray Law Firm in Atlanta are following this tragedy closely. As the shooting occurred in a workplace setting, they believe the family of Ajit Pandey will almost certainly be entitled to significant compensation under the Workers’ Compensation laws of Georgia.

Legal experts warn, however, employers and insurance companies are often more concerned with limiting their own financial exposure than protecting families of violent workplace crimes. As such, without an experienced lawyer protecting the interests of the family, the value of these claims may be adversely affected. Thus, it is imperative the Pandey family secure experienced legal representation quickly.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience in protecting victims and families devastated by violent workplace crimes and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 404.842.1600. Consultations are free and confidential.

 

SAC EM Update

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Local News

OSHA Investigation of Fatal Ingram Street Water Tower Accident, Brookhaven (Daily Leader)

OSHA Investigation of Fatal Ingram Street Water Tower Accident, Brookhaven (Daily Leader)

41-year-old John T. Johnson, of Du Pont, was killed in a construction accident at a Brookhaven water tower Wednesday, July 24, 2014.

According to WTVM News,  Mr. Johnson, an employee of Southeast Tank and Tower, was contracted to sandblast and repaint a Brookhaven water tower on Ingram Street. Mr. Johnson was working with a water tower renovation crew, 70-90 feet above ground, when he fell from scaffolding. Emergency crews transported Mr. Johnson to King’s Daughters Medical Center, where he succumbed to injuries.

Our Legal Take

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration and The Murray Law Firm are now questioning what factors, such as faulty scaffolding, loose cables or frayed safety harnesses, may have played a role in this tragedy:

What type of scaffolding was in place? Did this scaffolding meet CDC and OSHA safety standards? When were the scaffolding, cables and safety holds last inspected? Were fall prevention platforms and emergency safety harnesses in place to prevent falls? Was Mr. Johnson wearing a lifeline harness and, if so, did the harness break or fail at the time of the fall? Did spacing between scaffolding rungs meet government requirements? 

Should a catastrophic equipment failure have contributed to this tragedy, the family of Mr. Johnson may elect to hold the equipment owner and manufacturer civilly liable in his wrongful death. Additionally, as Mr. Johnson was working at the time of his death, his family is almost certainly entitled to significant workers’ compensation benefits per Georgia law. Claims of this magnitude will, most importantly, demand that Southeast Tank and Tower and the entire water tower industry re-evaluate safety equipment, training and procedures. Perhaps, through these claims, many other lives may be spared.

Photographs and a thorough, unbiased inspection of all equipment will need to be performed before any evidence may be repaired, damaged or destroyed. As such, the Johnson family should seek an experienced workers’ compensation and product liability firm without delay to ensure all evidence is preserved and their best interests are protected.

The Murray Law Firm works tirelessly to protect victims and families of catastrophic work accidents, such as this, and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. Anyone seeking further information or legal representation is encouraged to contact us at 912.385.9690.