For work-related injury or death, an employee, or if a fatal injury, his estate, may sue the employer if the injury or death results from the deliberate intention of his or her employer to produce the injury or death. The employee, the widow, widower, child or dependent of the employee has the privilege to receive workers’ compensation benefits and may also file suit against the employer, as if the workers’ compensation did not exist, to recover any excess of damages over and above the amount received or receivable under the workers’ compensation laws.
The term “deliberate intent” is defined by law to include injuries or death where:
- The employer or his agents acted with a consciously, subjectively and deliberately formed intention to produce the specific result of injury or death to an employee; or
- The employer, prior to the injury, had actual knowledge of the existence of a specific unsafe working condition and of the high degree of risk and the strong probability of serious injury or death presented by the specific unsafe working condition.
A “specific unsafe work condition” includes a violation of a state or federal safety statute, rule or regulation, whether cited or not, or a commonly accepted and well-known safety standard within the industry or business of the employer.
It is well-known that workers’ compensation benefits do not fully compensate an injured worker for the full extent of his or her loss of wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other elements of damage, many of which are not even recoverable under workers compensation. It is also well-known that many work place accidents occur as a result of some violation of OSHA, MSHA, or other safety laws or regulations, or commonly accepted industry safety practice or standard. An injured employee or his family has an available remedy by which he or his family may recover full compensation.
At McQueen Davis, we have the ability, knowledge and experience to handle “deliberate intent” cases which may arise from a wide variety of mining, industrial, and commercial employment environments, including coal mining, utilities, transportation, oil and gas drilling, chemical, manufacturing, retail, medical facilities, nursing homes, and almost any kind of job involving potential unsafe working conditions.