A California paint company has recently settled a lawsuit regarding an on-the-job injury of one worker and the death of another. The company came under scrutiny regarding the way that harmful chemicals were handled, which has been declared illegal and dangerous for workers. As a result of this illegal action, one worker suffered from an on-the-job injury after fumes exposure and one passed away from chemical inhalation.
The dangerous fumes were from a solvent of methylene chloride, which is colorless. It was determined that the company had failed to have a safety procedure for employees handling this dangerous material. Workers who have been injured in a work accident, or families of those who have been killed while performing their work duties, should be eligible for financial support from workers’ compensation benefits. Typically, compensation should be granted regardless of the circumstances of the accident.
Vista Paint Corporation was ordered to pay almost one million dollars after officials determined that the company had failed to have proper safety protocols for handling methylene chloride. Exposure to this chemical can lead to respiratory symptoms, confusion, nausea, vomiting and other side effects. The California facility may have prevented the death and injury with proper training and safety protocols.
It is important to remember that a civil lawsuit is separate from a compensation claim. When an accident or on-the-job injury occurs due to a blatant lack of safety or worker protection, it is best to seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney in order to understand the best legal options for the situation. A professional ally can ensure that a worker and/or family receives the financial and legal support needed during a difficult time.
Source: ocregister.com, “O.C. paint company settles lawsuit for illegal handling of toxic chemical“, Kelly Puente, Jan. 7, 2015