After Hours Appointments Available
Call Now To Schedule A Free Consultation
Toll Free:850-659-6512

Workers' compensation: 3 families can seek death benefits claims

Following the tragic deaths of three employees of a utility contractor in South Florida in January, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued the company with fines totaling almost $120,000 for 10 serious violations. An OSHA director said the hazards of working in confined spaces are well known, and so should the related safety regulations be. The deceased employees' families will be entitled to seek death benefits through the workers' compensation insurance system.

On that fateful day, a 34-year-old utility worker entered the confined space of the manhole to lay some pipes, but he became unresponsive within minutes. A 49-year-old worker was concerned and followed his co-worked to check on him, and when he was also unresponsive, a 24-year-old colleague entered the same manhole to revive them. None of the men came out of that confined space alive.

A rescue attempt was launched during which a volunteer firefighter and two more utility workers also suffered exposure to toxic gases, but they survived. Atmospheric tests in the space after the incident revealed the presence of deadly levels of carbon monoxide and hydrogen sulfide. If those tests were done before the men entered the manhole, steps could have been taken to make it safe.

The OSHA director called these fatalities needless, saying the employer's disregard of safety regulations was to blame. When Florida families lose loved ones under similar circumstances, they might have viable wrongful death claims that could be filed simultaneously with workers' compensation survivors' benefits claims. Those who consider taking such steps may be wise to seek the opinion of an experienced workers' compensation attorney to check the viability of civil lawsuits and for valuable support and guidance throughout any legal proceedings.

Source:, "3 lives 'needlessly lost' in confined space tragedy", July 21, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Email Us For A Response

Get The Help You Need

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

The Law Offices of Cameron D Simpson, P.A.
152 Eglin Parkway N.E.
Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32548

Phone: 850-659-6512
Fax: 850-796-1724
Fort Walton Beach Law Office Map