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Colorado dismisses lawsuit pertaining to occupational injuries

Colorado residents and others may face the risk of occupational hazards. Some are foreseen and could possibly be prevented and others are not so easy to predict. When a hazard occurs workers may sustain occupational harm through no fault of their own. In some instances, those injuries have fatal results.

Five pipeline workers were killed in a fire that happened in a pipe they were working on. A chemical being used by the workers ignited inside the pipe, making it hard for the workers to breathe. Rescuers tried to provide the workers with breathing equipment but were unsuccessful. The five workers died as a result of the occupational injuries they sustained.

Families for the victims filed lawsuits against the companies who manufactured the equipment used by the workers. After almost six years, a Colorado appeals court upheld the dismissal of the lawsuits because there was no proof of negligence. However, another company previously pleaded guilty to criminal charges stemming from the tragedy. As part of the plea arrangement, the company [aid some $1.65 million, and most of those funds were earmarked for the surviving families of the victims.

Occupational injuries are serious under any circumstances. Injured workers and families of deceased workers have the option of filing a workers' compensation claim through their employer to receive benefits for which they are eligible. Those affected may also consider filing a third party liability claim against equipment manufacturers when the evidence supports a claim for negligence. At such a difficult time, occasioned by the loss of a loved one or suffering from injury, there is often stress involved. Consulting with a knowledgeable party can ease some of the stress and ensure the timeliness and accuracy of claims for benefits.

Source: ABC 7 News, "Colorado Court of Appeals dismisses lawsuits in Georgetown Cabin Creek power plant deaths," May 02, 2013

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