Articles Posted in Workers’ Compensation

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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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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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pexels-oliver-king-4067795-300x200Many Texans spend the majority of their time at work. As a result, San Antonio workplace accidents are very common, even for those with jobs that are not physically demanding. Indeed, an on-the-job accident can occur at any moment, and for almost any reason. Thus, all employees need to understand their options when it comes to recovering after a work-related accident.

There are two types of claims that a worker can bring after an on-the-job accident. The first, a workers’ compensation claim, is the more common of the two types of claims. The workers’ compensation system provides employees a simplified way to obtain compensation for a work-related accident without needing to prove that their employer was at fault. Because the workers’ compensation program is a no-fault system, these claims are typically quicker to process than traditional personal injury claims.

The main drawback of workers’ compensation claims is the availability of damages. Injured employees who successfully bring a Texas workers’ compensation claim can obtain benefits for their medical expenses, lost wages, and any decrease in earning capacity. However, unlike a personal injury case, a workers’ comp claim does not entitle an employee to non-economic damages.

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Every year, significant numbers of Texas workers suffer injuries and illnesses related to their employment. These injuries and illnesses range from relatively minor slip and fall incidents to serious life-threatening and debilitating accidents. In some circumstances, Texas workers who suffer injuries at work may be able to recover for their damages. The two primary ways a Texas worker can recover for their injuries is through workers’ compensation or a personal injury lawsuit against their employer.

Workers’ compensation is a government insurance program that provides medical benefits and lost wages to workers who suffer injuries on the job. Unlike most other states, Texas employers can choose whether they want to purchase this insurance. Even though coverage is not mandatory, Texas employers must notify all of their employees and the state if they choose not to provide coverage.

Work-related injuries can have long-lasting and potentially deadly consequences. For example, recently, a news source reported on the death of a third worker at a Texas energy well. The workers were at an oil well site near Austin, when a high-pressure release caused a fiery explosion. The victims were medevaced to hospitals where they succumbed to their injuries. The mother of one of the victims filed a case against the energy company and requested that the court order them to preserve the scene and any relevant evidence. Additionally, she asked the judge to issue an order that would allow her attorneys and family access to the site for an investigation.

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(BURLESON COUNTY, Texas,  Feb 3, 2020)  Three oil field contractors have died and another is still in the hospital after an oil well blowout and the resulting fire in Burleson County, Texas.

The accident happened at a well site near Deanville, on County Road 127 and FM 60,  southwest of Bryan on January 29th.  The Chesapeake Energy owned well was undergoing major maintenance operations by contractors employed by CC Forbes and Eagle Pressure Control when the explosion occurred.

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When a Texas employee is injured on the job, they may be able to obtain Texas workers’ compensation benefits until they are able to return to work. However, a workers’ compensation claimant is limited in the amount they can recover for their injuries. Typically, an injured worker can only recover for their medical expenses and lost wages.

A Texas personal injury claim, on the other hand, allows for an injured employee to recover more fully for their injuries, including for their pain and suffering. However, under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act, when a workers’ compensation claim is appropriate, it is usually the employee’s sole remedy against their employer. This means that an injured employee may be prevented from pursuing a personal injury case against their employer.

There are several instances in which an injured employee may be able to pursue a Texas personal injury case against one or more parties. For example, if a third party causes an employee’s injuries, the employee may be able to pursue a Texas third-party claim against that person or organization. Third-party claims do not implicate Texas workers’ compensation laws because the named defendant is not the injured worker’s employer.

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When someone is involved in a serious Texas workplace accident, they may have several options when it comes to seeking compensation for their injuries. In general, a Texas employee who is injured on the job can pursue a Texas workers’ compensation claim. Under the Texas workers’ compensation program, an injured employee can pursue a claim for workers’ compensation regardless of fault. However, the major problem with workers’ compensation claims is that the type and amount of damages available are limited.

Generally speaking, if an employer has obtained workers’ compensation insurance, then a workers’ compensation claim is an injured employee’s only recourse against an employer. However, unlike most states, Texas does not require employers to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. If an employer is a “non-subscriber” to the workers’ compensation program, a plaintiff can pursue a traditional negligence action against the employee. In these situations, an employee’s damages will not be limited as they would in a workers’ compensation case.

As mentioned above, Texas workers’ compensation cases can proceed absent a finding of fault against an employer (even if the employee was partly responsible for their own injuries). However, some workplace accidents are the result of another party’s negligent conduct. In these situations, an injured employee may be able to pursue a Texas third-party liability claim against the negligent party.

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In a recent Texas construction case, the court considered injuries arising from the collapse of a crane on a commercial construction site. The issue the appellate court examined was whether the plaintiff was prevented from obtaining damages under common law, due to the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.

The case arose when the superintendent for the general contractor on a big construction project was injured in connection with the installation of pilings. To install pilings, the crew drilled a hole in the earth and then pumped grout into the hole. A steel rebar cage was dropped into the grout, which hardened around the cage to form a piling. Heavy machinery is used to build the piling. One of the subcontractors had adopted several policies to make sure the pilings were finished safely.

After a piling was completed, the crew had several cubic yards of grout left over, but the grout was insufficient to fully complete another hole. The superintendent of the subcontractor ordered the crew to start another piling. The foreman opposed this plan but agreed to follow it anyway. The superintendent of the subcontractor left, and grout was pumped into a new hole on the assumption that another shipment of grout would be arriving soon. That shipment was delayed, and the grout started to harden. When the grout finally arrived and was mixed into the old grout, the pressure under the old grout built up and caused the augur to shoot up. The cable backlashed, and the augur got stuck.

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In Tractor Supply Co. of Texas, LP v. McGowan, the plaintiff sued a tractor supply distribution company and related parties for personal injuries. The case arose when a temporary staffing company assigned the plaintiff to work in the tractor supply distribution center. Employees of the center trained, supervised, and instructed him on his job duties.

The plaintiff was working as a picker on the date of the accident. Another employee was loading a pallet and pushed another pallet loaded with dog food off the rack. This landed on the plaintiff, causing serious injuries.

The plaintiff prevailed at trial. The defendant tractor supply distribution company appealed, arguing that the court had made a mistake in depriving it of the exclusive remedy defense provided by the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.

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