Almost everyday numerous consumer products are recalled by the federal government. With all of these new recalls, how are you to know if you are in possession of any of the dangerous products?
Friday & Cox LLC Workers' Compensation, Personal Injury and SSD/SSI Blog
In representing our clients, we travel around Western Pennsylvania from Pittsburgh to Erie to Smethport to Bellefonte to Bedford and beyond on a daily basis. While driving around, I (Paul G. Mayer, Jr.) try to take a minute every once and awhile to appreciate the beautiful scenery and interesting people of our Commonwealth. in "Hittin' the Road with Friday & Cox", I'll give you the highlights. Hope you enjoy it.
Recently, the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a $10 million dollar verdict against the makers of Children's Motrin for failure to adequately warn consumers of the risks of taking the drug. The jury did not find that the product was negligently designed, the verdict goes directly to the warnings contained on the product's packinging and labeling namely not listing the symptoms of "skin reddening", "rash", and "blisters".
Most Pennsylvanians would agree that construction is one of the most inherently dangerous jobs a worker could do. Every year, numerous construction site accidents in Pennsylvania are reported. Many of these accidents often result in serious injuries and in some cases, death. Two such incidents happened about one month ago in Pittsburgh where seven construction workers were injured after scaffolding collapses.
Interestingly, these construction accidents occurred in the midst of efforts by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration to promote worker safety at construction sites. According to a senior official from OHSA's regional office in Pittsburgh, falls are the major cause of construction site accidents.
An insurance company has a duty to act in good faith and fair dealing in both the defense and indemnity of third party claims (claims of others against you, as an insured) as well as a duty to pay for first party claims (your claims against others). When the insurance company fails to live up to these duties when a valid claim exists, then a case of bad faith may exist.
Pennsylvania residents should be aware that in 2012, an astounding 4,383 workers lost their lives at their workplace. Interestingly, 708 of those fatalities, 16%, involved a temporary worker. In a time when the percentage of temporary workers is steadily on the rise, this is one major concern that the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) plans to address in 2014.
The federal agency is cracking down on employers and temporary staffing agencies that fail to meet safety standards at workplaces. OSHA's initiative has already resulted in a number of employers being cited for safety violations, including a $135,200 fine to a vegetable processor and staffing agency in Texas, and a $40,600 fine to a cereal maker in Georgia. OSHA also cited five companies, including four staffing agencies, for the death of a worker at an Amazon facility in New Jersey.
One of the fundamental responsibilities of an organization is to ensure the safety and security of its workers when they are on the premises of the company. Sadly, in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, occasional reports of an industrial accident occur. In some of these incidents, the employer cannot be blamed; but there are often cases when a negligent employer is liable for an on-the-job injury.
Recently, a flash fire broke out at a chemical plant in Saegertown, Pennsylvania. The company, a manufacturer of adhesives and coatings, has not released the identity of the worker, but stated that the worker suffered burns from fire that started during the process of cleaning mixing equipment in the factory. The worker was airlifted to a hospital for treatment.
When a worker in Pennsylvania suffers from any injury at work, the law allows for the injured worker to collect workers' compensation from the employer. Such compensation can cover wages lost while the worker is recovering from injuries and it can also be used for meeting medical expenses incurred due to the workplace injury.
However, sometimes a workers' compensation claim is not always well received by the employer, who may seek reprisal against the worker, translating into workplace discrimination or even termination. A series of reports recently released by the Workers Compensation Research Institute reveals that when a worker is afraid of employer reprisal, it may take the worker a longer time to heal from injuries suffered. Workers who feel secure in their employment exhibit shorter durations of disability, conversely.
No employer in Pennsylvania finds it acceptable for an accident to occur in the workplace of his or her business. A work-related accident may raise questions about the standard of workplace safety and often is likely to open an investigation by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration. It may lead to more workers getting injured, requiring the employer to pay hefty workers' compensation and penal citations from the OSHA.
Amazon, a globally renowned company, is recently facing investigations about its labor practices after two of their workers recently died in their distribution centers. The latest death occurred in Pennsylvania on June 1, 2014. This prompted the U.S. Department of Labor to launch an investigation into Amazon's distribution centers.
Highways and turnpikes in Pennsylvania require construction work and maintenance on a regular basis. With vehicles constantly rushing by at high speeds, however, workers at construction sites often find themselves in dangerous situations. As a result, construction injuries are not uncommon at these sites.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike recently witnessed a tragic construction accident when a worker, while engaged in construction work in a closed lane, was hit by an oncoming tractor-trailer. He later died of his injuries. Another construction worker was injured in the accident, but survived.