Every day, Pennsylvania residents put their lives on the line, many times without even thinking about it. Motorists put their lives in the hands of other drivers, workers put theirs in employers' hands, and consumers put theirs in manufacturer's hands. We often do not think of these dangers because safety regulations and laws are in place to protect us. But sometimes people fail to live up to the standards imposed by these laws and regulations, and the results can be tragic.
Back in 2011, a Pennsylvania electrician was killed while working to install equipment at a steam plant when a 300 pound crane hook fell from 60 feet above, landing on him. A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the victim's employee, claiming the hook was negligently maintained. In fact, an investigation found the employer had failed, on thousands of occasions, to properly inspect its cranes. The lawsuit was recently settled for $17 million, an amount that will help the deceased's widow raise their five children.
Many workplace accidents like this are wholly preventable. But employers often become complacent in their position and slack on their duty to maintain a safe work environment. By filing a wrongful death lawsuit, a deceased's family may be able to recover not only damages such as loss of companionship, pain and suffering and lost wages, but it may also hold a company responsible for its negligence. Hopefully this will lead to increased safety throughout the industry.
The loss of a loved one can tear a family apart. At a time when they should be mourning, family members may find themselves struggling financially as a result of the accident. The compensation recoverable from a wrongful death lawsuit can be extremely beneficial, helping the family pay its bills, find some comfort, and obtain some closure.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Workplace wrongful death yields $17 million settlement, reportedly highest in Phila. history," Jon Campisi, Feb. 18, 2014