Articles Posted in Work Injury

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Paraquat is an extremely popular herbicide used by many licensed agricultural workers. The reason it’s so popular is that this product is highly effective when it comes to killing nasty weeds and overgrown grass. However, there are risks to using this product. Studies have shown that there’s an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease from being exposed to Paraquat. It is, In fact, so toxic that only certified professionals are allowed to buy this product and use it by law in the United States. 

Parkinson’s disease is vicious to those it affects. It progressively shuts down the nervous system as It slowly kills certain nerve cells called neurons found in the brain. Many of the symptoms are due to a loss of neurons that produce a chemical messenger called dopamine. When there is a decrease in dopamine, the brain begins to have abnormal activity, and your movement capabilities can begin to fail. However, many other symptoms can occur when this happens. 

This disease can lead to the person developing issues with chewing and swallowing properly due to the disease affecting the muscles in their mouth. In addition, cognitive issues like being unable to remember things and control your emotions (dementia) are also symptoms of this horrendous disease. There are many symptoms such as; general pain in the body or specific areas, losing your ability to differentiate particular odors you previously could without any difficulties, having a lack of energy throughout the day, changes in blood pressure causing you to feel lightheaded or dizzy, and many others. 

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To save time and labor, farmers and agricultural workers often turn to herbicides to aid them in their agricultural work. For example, some herbicides like Paraquat aid them in exterminating overgrown weeds and other unwanted grasses. Unfortunately, while this may be beneficial to the farmer saving them time and money, Paraquat can have fatal consequences. Paraquat is an extremely poisonous herbicide that can lead to death if an individual or agricultural worker ingests it. 

Paraquat can not even be purchased in the United States unless the applicator has a license for it. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified it as “restricted use.”. This herbicide has very tight restrictions due to the fact it’s highly poisonous. Unlike most other herbicides, Paraquat can’t be applied if the applicator does not have a license, even if they are under the supervision of someone who does. Paraquat is so dangerous that only licensed professionals are allowed to apply it on their crops. 

Several safety precautions are taken to deter an individual from confusing Paraquat with a beverage or other liquid. In the United States, A blue dye and sharp odor are added to the liquid so that one doesn’t confuse it with other beverages as well as an added agent that causes vomiting if accidentally ingested. In addition, those who apply the product must wear extra protective equipment such as respiratory protection, safety glasses, and more. Those who mix and load Paraquat are required to wear full-face shields and chemical-resistant aprons. 

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Vegetables spraying with pesticides in a garden

Paraquat is a popular herbicide used among agricultural workers and farmers because of its highly destructive nature towards unwanted grasses and weeds. This herbicide is so good at its job that it is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. However, It is highly poisonous to humans and wildlife, making it dangerous to use, necessitating numerous safety regulations. Paraquat is classified by the EPA as “restricted use” and can only be applied and purchased by a certified individual with a license. In addition, there are special agents added that cause vomiting if ingested, a blue dye, and a sharp odor added to Paraquat in the United States to differentiate it from beverages one might drink. 

While using Paraquat is beneficial to the farmers because it reduces the need for labor and saves money, there are risks with using this product that can be fatal. For example, studies have shown an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease after using Paraquat. According to the mayo clinic, “Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.” This disease can have a range in symptoms. For example, you may have trouble with mobility, such as trouble with walking, your muscles may stiffen up, you may shake and have trouble with balance and coordination. Another example of possible symptoms is dementia,  loss of smell, problems with speech, and difficulty writing. 

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Paraquat, a toxic chemical herbicide used to exterminate unruly weeds and grass, has been highly popularized in its use and was first produced for commercial use in 1962. There are many brands of paraquat products, and some of these include, Gramoxone, Goldquat, Almoxone, and many more. Paraquat is extremely popular and is one of the most commonly used herbicides around the globe. However, due to its extremely high toxicity, many precautions have been taken to purchase and use this herbicide in the United States.  

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to put mitigation measures on the use of Paraquat to protect human health and the environment. Here’s a quote from the United States EPA website “In July 2021, after receiving and considering public comments on the Paraquat proposed interim decision, EPA released the interim decision for registration review. As part of this action, EPA requires mitigation measures to reduce risks associated with Paraquat in order to protect human health and the environment.” 

Paraquat is so toxic that it can lead to death if accidentally ingested, and there is no antidote for it. Because it’s so toxic, in the U.S., precautions are taken, such as adding a dye to the substance and a sharp odor to deter an individual from accidentally ingesting it. Not only that, but only those with a commercial license can even purchase the product, let alone use it. In addition, An individual can not use this product even if they are under the supervision of a certified applicator. 

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How do you know if you have a personal injury claim? You can suffer personal injuries when injured physically, psychologically, or emotionally usually due to negligence, carelessness, or wrongful conduct of another individual. It’s typically the case that when an individual files a personal injury claim, they or someone they love sustained injuries due to another’s negligent actions. 

Because personal injury law covers a vast amount of different situations, it’s extremely important for you to consult with an experienced lawyer if you believe you have a personal injury claim. For instance, you are potentially at risk of suffering personal injuries in situations such as automobile accidents, trucking accidents, dog bites, motorcycle accidents, and many others.  

Given this information, you need to seek professional legal advice from an experienced lawyer to know if you have a personal injury claim. A personal injury attorney will aim to determine who is responsible for the injury or death. They then evaluate the legal issues applicable in a particular situation and determine which course of action is best for their clients. If required, they will file a personal injury lawsuit on behalf of those injured. They take these steps in order to protect the injured party’s rights and ensure proper compensation is received.

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Recently, two employees died, and 30 others suffered injuries after a chemical leak at a LyondellBasell Industries (LBI) plant in Texas. The company is one of the largest plastics, chemicals, and refining companies in the world. The Texas company boasts that its chemicals have provided modern ways to enhance food and water safety worldwide.

According to a recent news report, the chemical leak involved acetic acid, which is a common food preservative used to make vinegar. The blast occurred around 7:30 in the evening when a cap burst on a line of acetic acid. Acetic acid is a clear, flammable liquid whose vapor can be corrosive to the eyes and skin. The burst released approximately 100,000 pounds of an acetic acid chemical mixture into the air. In addition to acetic acid, the burst released hydrogen iodide and acetate. The combination of these chemicals can be toxic and cause severe burns. Emergency responders and investigators are still investigating the accident; however, they do not believe that an explosion or fire caused the leak.

Chemical leaks such as the one at the Texas plant can be toxic and deadly to anyone in the vicinity. Chemical spills and leaks often occur because of negligence surrounding safety regulations, equipment, or employee training. Companies should make sure to properly train their employees and workers to ensure that they understand how to prevent spills and mitigate harm if a spill does occur. However, many companies prioritize economic gain over employee and community welfare. When this occurs, the companies may pressure workers to complete tasks in an unreasonable amount of time. This can naturally result in workers cutting corners to meet production deadlines.

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collection-of-construction-safety-helmet-38070-300x197The Supreme Court of Texas recently issued a decision following a petition from review from the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District. The court was tasked with determining whether a general contractor on a construction project owed a duty of care to a subcontractor’s employee who suffered injuries on the job. The general contractor hired a subcontractor to erect a concrete tower. The victim, an employee of the subcontractor, suffered injuries when the tower detached and fell on his legs. The victim filed a lawsuit against the general contractor alleging negligence and gross negligence. He argued that the defendant had contractual and actual control over the subcontractor’s work and thus owed the victim a duty of care. The trial court found in the defendant’s favor, and the court of appeals reversed.

On petition to the Supreme Court of Texas, the defendant argued that it did not owe the victim a duty of care. Generally, under Texas law, an entity that employs an independent contractor does not maintain a duty to ensure that the subcontractor performs its work safely. However, an exception applies when the contractor maintains some level of control over the way the contractor performs the work that caused the damage. The element of control must relate to the activity or condition that caused the injury. Further, the control must extend to the “means, methods, or details” of the independent subcontractor’s work.

In this case, the defendant argued that it did not have actual control over the subcontractor. It cited testimony where the subcontractor’s superintendent stated that the contractor did not instruct any of the subcontractor’s employees and no one from the contracting company told him how to install the tower or its braces. In response, the plaintiff argued that the contracting company asserted actual control by having someone on-site every day to inspect for safety. Additionally, someone from the company was there to inspect on the day of the accident, and the company was aware that the towers were not appropriately braced for wind. However, the court found no evidence that the contracting company exercised control over the subcontractor’s work. Further, the court reasoned that the courts have not recognized the presence of a safety employee as enough to give rise to actual control.

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collection-of-construction-safety-helmet-38070-300x197The Supreme Court of Texas recently issued an opinion in a case involving a property owner’s liability for injuries an employee contractor sustained while working on the property. The case arose when the two construction workers suffered injuries while working on a condominium project owned by the defendant. The defendant hired an individual instead of a general contractor to manage the project. A high-voltage power line hung behind the property, and the defendants told the project manager about the line because it was “too close” to the building. The project manager advised the plaintiffs to begin the project even though the power line was still intact. While working on the project, electricity shot down the rebar, and the power line snapped, causing the workers to suffer burns and other serious injuries.

The workers filed a negligence lawsuit against the power company and the defendants. The trial court entered a judgment per a jury finding that the property owner was liable under ordinary-negligence and premises-liability theories.

The defendant appealed, arguing that the employee’s evidence was not legally sufficient under Chapter 95. In response, the plaintiffs argued that the Chapter does not apply, the defendant waived some arguments, and the evidence was legally sufficient. Amongst several issues, the defendant argued that they could not be held liable because the danger was open and obvious. Under Texas law, a danger is open and obvious when the invitee possesses “knowledge and full appreciation” of the hazard’s extent and nature. Typically, when the danger is open and obvious, the property owner does not maintain a duty to warn of the danger or make the premises safe. Inquiries regarding whether a danger is open and obvious are not subjective but rather what a reasonably prudent person would have known. Courts will look to the totality of the “particular circumstances.”

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collection-of-construction-safety-helmet-38070-300x197Recently, the Supreme Court of Texas issued a decision in a lawsuit stemming from injuries an employee suffered at his workplace. The case arose when a general contractor subcontracted with the defendant to drill a foundation for a commercial construction project. The plaintiff was working as a lead superintendent for the project. On the day of the incident, the subcontractor’s crew began working on a new piling without sufficient grout, contrary to the company’s policy. The defendant’s foreman told the crane operator to rock the auger back and forth to free it from the solidifying grout. After several minutes the foreman told the operator to stop, as it posed a danger. However, the subcontractor’s superintendent overrode the foreman’s instructions and told him to continue. Despite concern that the situation was becoming increasingly dangerous, the subcontractor demanded that the operator continue. As a result, some of the crane’s rollers came off and crushed the plaintiff’s legs, ultimately requiring amputation of his legs.

The plaintiff received workers’ compensation and subsequently filed a lawsuit against the subcontractor for negligence and gross negligence, arguing that the subcontractor waived its exclusive remedy defense. Later the plaintiff amended his complaint, contending that the subcontractor intentionally injured the plaintiff.

In Texas, the Workers’ Compensation Act, (the Act) is the exclusive remedy for eligible employees who seek compensation for work-related injuries. This provision provides medical and disability benefits without considering the fault of either the employer or employee. The Act does not allow lawsuits for an employer’s grossly negligent behavior unless the conduct results in a fatal injury. However, an exception to the bar on lawsuits exists when an employer commits an intentional tort. In order to satisfy the exception, the plaintiff must establish that the employer “believed that its actions are substantially certain to result” in a specific injury to a specific employee, not “merely highly likely to increase the overall risks to employees in the workplace.”

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CS-San-Antonio-9-300x300Recently, a Texas district court issued an opinion in a lawsuit stemming from injuries a man suffered during a workplace altercation. According to the record, the plaintiff worked in a storeroom of a clothing store that is operated by a larger company. The plaintiff and another employee became involved in a verbal altercation requiring intervention from a supervisor. The supervisor presented the parties with the options to either quit their jobs, change shifts, or continue working together-they chose to continue working together. About a week after the verbal altercation, the men became involved in another argument, and the employee punched the plaintiff. Both of the men were terminated from their positions. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the parent company, arguing that they were liable for his injuries because of negligent hiring, negligent training, negligent supervision, retention, and monitoring. A jury found in favor of the plaintiff, and the company appealed.

Among other issues, the company argued that they were not liable because the men were not employees of the parent company, but rather of a subsidiary. The company argued that the plaintiff did not establish that the defendant had an employment relationship with any of the parties involved, or that they controlled the subsidiary’s safety policies. Therefore, the jury’s finding was not supported by the evidence.

Under Texas laws, the court will sustain a sufficiency of the evidence challenge if there is a complete absence of an essential fact, the trial court is barred by the law to give weight to the evidence offered to prove a vital fact, if the preferred evidence is no more than a “mere scintilla,” or the evidence established the opposite of a vital fact. Evidence rises to a sufficient level if it would allow fair-minded people to differ in their conclusions. Further, if the evidence does not create more than a slight suspicion, it is not sufficient.

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