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Lawsuit over Alleged Toxic Exposure Against Chevron Growing

The Herald Online reports that a lawsuit against Chevron is growing and there are now more than 4800 people signed on to the lawsuit. According to the lawsuit, Chevron is responsible for exposing the plaintiffs to toxins that resulted in them suffering serious health issues after a fire and explosion at the Chevron refinery in Richmond, California. The explosion and fire occurred on August 6, 2012.

The lawsuits are being filed over a facility that has a long history of issues. According to the report, the lawsuits allege that there have been at least 19 fires, explosions and spills at that refinery since 1989. The lawsuit also alleges that Chevron did not warn people in time about the health hazards posed to them by the toxins released by the fire.

Richmond, California, is located in the Bay Area of the state. The Chevron refinery is not the first one in that area to be the subject of a lawsuit. A refinery located in Avon, close to Martinez, California, was successfully sued over injuries and deaths resulting from an explosion at that refinery, as well.

Workplace Injuries and Lawsuits

Very large cases against employers – particularly when the employers are enormous multinational companies like Chevron – tend to get a lot of play in the media. In reality, however, many people are injured every day by employers who are negligent in one way or another in keeping their employees safe from harm. That negligence may take forms as simple and easy to understand as not providing adequate equipment or training to perform the tasks required of employees or as complex as withholding information about toxins to which employees are exposed and that eventually lead to those employees suffering devastating health issues.

Whether a company happens to be a large multinational or a small business, there are responsibilities that they have to their employees. When they endanger employees through negligent actions or inaction, they put themselves in a position where they may end up being sued by those employees, because the employees end up suffering expensive and sometimes life-threatening medical conditions, severe injuries or severe psychological trauma.

Talking to a Lawyer

There are many issues involved with suing an employer. For most people, there is always the fear of losing employment, which may already have happened, depending upon the extent of the injuries and how incapacitating they actually were. For other people, there is simply hesitation brought about by wondering if the accident was actually their fault. To deal with these types of issues, you need to speak with an attorney.

A personal injury attorney will understand what an employer is obligated to provide their employees in terms of safety and training. If you believe you have been injured by a negligent employer, contact a Houston personal injury attorney.

 

Call us for a FREE consultation at 713-771-5453

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Another Change to Texas Medical Malpractice Law

The Texas Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision decided that workplace injuries for hospital workers, including nurses, should be treated as if they were medical errors. According to News-Journal.com, the decision will have impacts on nurses and other healthcare professionals who are injured on the job.

The Texas Medical Liability Act

The Texas Medical Liability Act limits the compensation that you can receive for non-economic damages in a medical malpractice claim to $250,000. The stated intention of this law was to reduce the number of medical malpractice claims throughout the state and to make the state more attractive to doctors, as well as to bring healthcare costs down. Since it was passed in 2003, the costs of healthcare have gone up and there has been no influx of doctors to Texas. The latest move extends this limitation to employees who want to sue for compensation for workplace injuries sustained at a hospital.

Under the law, an injured nurse or healthcare worker can only seek compensation from a hospital employer under the same restrictions that apply to the Texas Medical Liability Act. This applies if the healthcare facility hasn’t provided workers compensation insurance, as well. The limitations could make it difficult for employees who were injured to get enough compensation to help them carry their bills and other obligations while they recover.

Should You Sue?

The limitations in the Texas Medical Liability Act are not difficult to understand in terms of their purpose. The intent of the law is to make it less productive to sue over medical malpractice claims and, now, nurses who are injured on the job will be restricted by the same law. If you are injured, however, don’t give up.

The limitations on damages still leave room for a skilled attorney to get just compensation for what you’ve suffered if medical malpractice or workplace injuries were issues. Don’t let the law discourage you from talking to an attorney. A good Houston personal injury attorney may see an opportunity for you to get compensated and that may mean a lot of valuable assistance handling your bills and other obligations.

Malpractice law is designed to make doctors accountable for the treatment that they deliver to their patients. When that treatment is negligent, the law provides a way for people to seek compensation. There is a lot of talk about the damage that medical malpractice claims do to the healthcare system but far less talk about how much damage the healthcare system does to everyday people.

Make sure you talk to an attorney if you have questions. They can give you the information you’ll need on any laws that apply to your lawsuit and can let you know what your options are and which of them would be most productive.

 

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Texas Lawsuit Alleges Drug Test Ordered Before 911 Called

A lawsuit filed by the family of a Texas man who died at his workplace alleges that the employer ordered a drug test before they called 911 for assistance. As reported in the Courthouse News Service, the man ended up suffering a fatal injury at work due to a fall. The lawsuit also alleges that there was no fall protection equipment provided for the man and that he ended up falling to his death as a result of that.

Drug Test Before Paramedics

The lawsuit alleges that, while he was lying on the ground unconscious, the defendant ordered that a drug test be performed on the decedent. This is disputed by the defendant. The death occurred on July 1, 2011. According to the lawsuit, the man ended up falling several feet and was working as a loader at the time.

According to the lawsuit, it was the defendant’s failure to provide immediate medical assistance that ended up leading to the man’s death. It is also alleged by the lawsuit that OSHA violations – namely, the lack of fall protection – also contributed to his death. OSHA regulations hold that any employee working at a height be provided with personal fall protection equipment, a guardrail or another approved device that is designed to arrest their fall in the event that they lose their footing or otherwise come to lose her balance.

The lawsuit is seeking $15 million in wrongful death, gross negligence and punitive damages, according to the report.

Wrongful Death in the Workplace

OSHA and other organizations provide a regulatory framework that is designed to keep people safe at work. In addition to this regulatory framework, employers are also expected to be competent in delivering care to employees when they are injured. In any instance where an employee is injured on the job, performing a drug test on an employee at the hospital is generally standard procedure. In this particular case, the allegation that the employer ordered a drug test before 911 was even called is at the heart of the wrongful death lawsuit.

Wrongful death lawsuits are designed to provide for the family of the deceased individual. In some cases, they take into account the loss of income that the entire family suffers as a result of the loss of their loved one. They may also include – as in the case of this particular lawsuit – punitive damages against an employer or other agency that was proven to have been negligent.

If you have been injured in the workplace and you believe that your employer was negligent in either not following OSHA regulations or because they didn’t provide you with adequate care after the fact, you should speak with an attorney. The best thing to do, however, is to make certain that you don’t end up in one of these situations in the first place. Learn the OSHA regulations that apply to your work and make certain that your employer follows them. If they do not and you are injured, an attorney may be able to set the situation right for you.

 

Call us for a FREE consultation at 713-771-5453

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On the Job Injuries in the Shipping Industry

The men and women who work in America’s shipping industry have some of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Heavy equipment is frequently found in shipping yards lifting massive loads high above the ground. Forklifts and other powerful equipment zips around shipyards, creating great potential for injuries. If you have been injured on the job and if your employer is trying to claim that it was your fault when it most certainly was not, contact a Houston personal injury attorney.

Employee Safety

There are very specific regulations that apply to the shipping industry as far as training employees properly for their jobs goes. In an industry as potentially dangerous as the shipping industry, employees who don’t have proper training are threats to themselves and their fellow employees.

If an employer was asking you to take on work that you were not trained to do and you were injured because of that, you should talk to an attorney right away. If you were injured by an employee that was doing a job that you know they were not qualified to be doing, you should also speak with an attorney right away.

The Industry

There’s no reason to kid yourself about what you’re up against if you’re going to sue a company involved in the shipping industry. These companies are frequently very large, very powerful and have plenty of money to spare. One of the tactics they may try is to offer you a settlement for your injuries to avoid going to court.

If a representative of the shipping company that you believe was negligent and that caused you to come to harm approaches you with a settlement, you can be very certain of one thing in particular. The shipping company had their attorneys take a look at the case, determine the minimum amount they could offer you to make you back off and then offered you that amount in an attempt to lower their risk of being sued.

Getting a settlement offer from the shipping company that injured you on the job is always a reason to speak with an attorney. It may turn out that the attorney will advise you to take the settlement if it is actually a fair settlement for what you’ve been through. There are good companies out there and there are good people in charge of some companies. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Talking to an Attorney

Anything you tell an attorney will be kept confidential. You don’t have to worry about the attorney contacting your employer and potentially costing you your job. If there are career implications involved with filing a lawsuit, your attorney will let you know. Talking to an attorney about these matters is generally free and, to avoid any limitations on your opportunity to sue, you should speak with an attorney right away.

Call us for a FREE consultation at 713-771-5453

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Oil Firm Nailed for Millions in Employee Injury Suit

An oil company that was found to be negligent in protecting its workers from harm was sued successfully for $4.1 million in damages by an employee. The incident in which the employee was injured occurred in Colorado, on an oil field where the employee worked as a roughneck. While working in oilfields is a notoriously dangerous profession, employees still do have a reasonable expectation that their employers will look out for their well-being as much as is possible, which they failed to do in this case, according to the jury’s finding.

The Wrong Parts

In the Colorado case, the oil drilling firm was found to have used improper parts in a drilling operation and, because of that, the employee ended up being crushed. The employee did survive, but suffered serious injuries. What made this particular case interesting was that the oil company had sold its operation and, because of that, both the oil company that originally owned the equipment and the company that had only recently purchased it were found to have both been liable to different degrees.

The case also found that the environment in which workers toiled for this oil company was one where intimidation was common. Employees feeling intimidated by supervisors and the company for which they work itself is far too common. In some cases, that intimidation ends up creating a corporate culture where injuries become much more common than they should be, simply because employees do not feel free to voice their concerns.

In the Colorado case, the employer failed to have the employees connect the safety line to the machinery on which they were working, in addition to the fact that they had been trying to use an incorrect part, both of which led to the injuries. The employee, unfortunately, ended up sustaining injuries to his back and to the spine that had impacts on his quality of life.

In any situation where an employee feels that they are being put in needless danger, reporting the incident is absolutely necessary. If one employee is being put in such a situation, it’s likely that others are, as well, and it’s only a matter of time before someone ends up getting hurt. If employers fail to adhere to federal and state regulations regarding their operations, they may end up being cited upon an inspection. In the worst-case scenarios, employees end up being hurt before any action is actually taken.

Taking Action

Intimidation, the fear of losing a job and other factors oftentimes dissuade employees from taking completely justified actions against employers who have put them at risk. If you have been put at risk and have been injured as a result of that, talking to an attorney right away is imperative. There may be limitations on how long you have to act, so speaking with a Houston personal injury attorney right away is your single best option. You can sit down with such an attorney for free, at which time they will determine whether or not it seems likely that you have a good case on your hands.

For a FREE consultation, call us at 713-771-5453

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Suing for Workplace Injuries

Many people are fortunate enough to have an employer that cares about their health and welfare. Beyond that, such people are also fortunate enough to have an employer who follows the guidelines put forth by OSHA and other regulators that are designed to keep people safe in the workplace. Unfortunately, there are too many people who do not have these types of employers and who end up being treated as if they were machines that can simply be replaced when they are broken due to their work. If you are injured on the job and you believe your employer was negligent, you need to speak with an injury attorney.

Workplace Regulations and Obligations

There are some jobs that are notoriously dangerous. For example, oil workers face some of the most brutal and dangerous working conditions imaginable. Even though this is the case, their employers are expected to keep them as safe as possible, given the circumstances of their work. This applies to all workers. There is a complex set of regulations in place that apply to just about every industry out there that has a certain number of employees.

When employers fail to adhere to these regulations and their employees are injured, a personal injury attorney may be able to help you. There are numerous cases of people being injured in ways that should’ve never happened. Safety equipment isn’t replaced or repaired as needed, employees are not given the training they need to do their jobs safely or employers, relying on the fact that they have the intimidation of holding the employee’s paycheck in their hand, ask employees to do unreasonably dangerous things. None of these things are legal and all of these things are negligent.

Fighting Back

Sometimes, people end up in the unfortunate situation of still relying on the employer who is responsible for their injuries and, therefore, they feel that they are in a position where they cannot file a lawsuit. Speaking with an attorney is always confidential. Speak with an attorney and ask them what they can do for you. They may well advise you to go ahead and file a lawsuit. Some injured employees are put in the insufferable situation of still having to draw a paycheck that is not enough to pay for the expenses caused them by the actions of a negligent employer. Some employers can be very manipulative about this. They may actually make it sound like they’re doing you a favor by keeping you on at your unreasonably dangerous job.

Experienced attorneys understand negligence. Simply put, they can see right through the smokescreen that employers will put up to protect themselves and they are certainly not intimidated by going up against a large corporation. You may feel that you have all of the odds stacked against you in these cases simply because the company you work for has, essentially, limitless resources to defend themselves. Realize that you have the law on your side. And, with a good attorney to represent you, that can be incredibly powerful and may provide you with the means you need to recover financially.

The Law offices of Blaine Tucker provides FREE initial consultation for victims of workplace injuries in the Houston and surrounding areas. Contact his office at 713-771-5453 today.

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Q & A

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Liability

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