A Louisiana court recently ruled in favor of the family of a worker who was killed when a truck tire exploded while he was trying to inflate it. The court ordered Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. to pay the man’s family and his employer a total of $7.2 million.
The man was an employee of Plaquemines Parish. According to a news report, the man was inflating a tire on a garbage truck when the tire exploded, causing him severe internal injuries. He died 28 days later.
Goodyear had sent out product service bulletins warning of problems with the tires, but Plaquemines Parish employees said they had never seen any of the bulletins. A judge found the company had failed to adequately warn users of the dangers and that therefore it should be held liable through the legal theor of product liability. The worker’s family was awarded more than $6.6 million, and the parish was set to receive more than $480,000 for its losses associated with the accident.
The case involves several areas of the law, including workers’ compensation, wrongful death and product liability.
The Louisiana workers’ compensation system can provide benefits to the family members of a worker who was killed in a workplace accident. These benefits are meant to compensate the family for their expenses related to the accident and provide them with some income to replace the loss of their loved one’s earnings. While nothing can make up for the untimely loss of a loved one, these benefits can be crucial in helping families stay financially healthy in the wake of a terrible accident.
Workers’ compensation is meant to provide an exclusive remedy. If the family collects workers’ compensation benefits after the death of a worker, they cannot also file a wrongful death lawsuit against the employer related to the same accident. However, this restriction does not bar the family from filing a claim against a third party who was responsible for the accident.
A lawyer with experience in workers’ compensation and personal injury law can help injured workers or their families assess their options.