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California work-related deaths sometimes lead to lawsuits

It is a relatively rare occurrence for a person to be killed in an accident that takes place on the job. While workplace accidents themselves are not all that uncommon, work-related deaths are not something that happen on a regular basis. In many situations where workers have died from on-the-job injuries in California, family members pursue justice on their loved ones' behalves by filing wrongful death claims in court.

That is what occurred after a crane operator was killed in 2012 when the machine he was using toppled over. In the aftermath of the tragic accident, the man's family sued several companies, most of whom settled out of court. One company, however, chose to go to trial--a decision that did not end up in its own favor.

A jury ruled that the family should be awarded $5 million for damages related to the their loved one's death. The Southeastern Crane Inspections LLC is to be responsible for $4.5 million. Apparently, the company had inspected the piece of heavy equipment and failed to report its findings, which revealed that there were serious problems with the equipment.

The devastation that follows work-related deaths is often long-lasting. Families must have time to grieve, but they are often met with significant financial debt that only adds to their stress. Court-awarded compensation is often a means to help relieve such debt because it can be applied to funeral expenses, any medical care that was rendered to an injured worker before death and other costs associated with an on-the-job accident in California.

Source: al.com, "Alabama family awarded $5.5 million in fatal crane accident", May 19, 2016

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