Anyone who has followed the news in the last few months is likely aware of the legal troubles surrounding General Motors for deaths resulting from defects in vehicles the company manufactured. But another death related to the company's manufacturing processes may involve another realm of the law known as workers' compensation.
A man was killed at a General Motors plant when a tank containing chlorine dioxide exploded. Four other workers were treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. Over 1,500 workers are employed at the plant, which supplies sheet-metal assemblies to GM assembly plants.
After the explosion, the plant was evacuated as the chemical continued to spill from the tank. Hazardous materials workers and firefighters assisted in the cleanup in an attempt to mitigate dangerous conditions caused by the spill, which include lung problems if the chemical is inhaled. Those whose skin came in contact with the chemical were rinsed to prevent irritation.
The plant was previously cited for a serious safety violation in 2009 by the state Department of Labor, although no violations have been reported since that time. But it only takes one unfortunate incident to seriously injure or result in the death of a worker.
Workers' compensation benefits may be available for those injured on the job, or for the survivors of a work accident victim. An attorney familiar with workers' compensation claims for accidents that happen in California should be able to provide guidance for victims who wish to pursue workers' compensation or a third-party claim.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Explosion at GM plant in Indiana kills worker, injures several," July 1, 2014