Camp Lejeune residents and employees want compensation for toxic water

President Barack Obama has ordered the provision of disability benefits worth over $2.2 billion over the next five years to military veterans who were exposed to contaminated drinking water while assigned to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.

Starting March 2017, eligible veterans who were stationed at the Marine base for at least 30 days cumulatively between August 1, 1953 and December 31, 1987 will be receiving cash payouts on top of their Veterans Affairs health care from the Department of Veteran Affairs. Application for benefits can begin when rules are officially published on Friday, January 13. Eligible veterans cover reserve and National Guard members who acquired one of eight diseases. According to the VA, around 1,400 disability claims relating to the Camp Lejeune toxic water exposure are already pending.

If you were injured in an accident at your place of employment in Raleigh or another area of North Carolina, you can file a workers’ compensation claim for coverage of all your medical bills with the help of our legal representatives at Scudder Seguin, PLLC by calling our offices at (919) 851-3311.

Court rejects workers’ compensation claim for Christmas party injury

A North Carolina court affirmed the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s ruling that denied Melissa Lennon, who worked as a deputy clerk in the accounting division of the Harnett County clerk of court’s office, her request for workers’ compensation benefits when she got injured at her employer’s annual holiday party, noting that Lennon did not sustain her injuries during the course of performing job duties.

According to court documents, employees at the clerk’s office were invited to attend the annual office holiday party at the Chicora Country Club in Dunn. Lennon, who suffered from an acute nondisplaced fracture of the distal radius of her left wrist, coccyx fracture, and superior glenoid tear of her left shoulder after she slipped and fell during the party, filed for workers’ compensation benefits.

The NCIC’s deputy commissioner rejected the claim, saying Lennon had not been wounded within the scope and course of her employment.

If you had been incapacitated as a result of a workplace accident and you have lost the ability to earn your daily wages, either temporarily or permanently, workers’ compensation benefits can protect you from unbearable financial strain. Let our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC help you file a workers’ compensation claim by calling our Raleigh offices today at (919) 851-3311.

Farmworkers dying because of unsafe transport

According to a report from The Associated Press, over a dozen accidents involving migrant farmworkers moving to the United States resulted in at least 38 fatalities and almost 200 injuries since January 2015.

U.S. Department of Labor records show that of the 1.1 million farmworkers in the country, 71% were born overseas, and half of those people acknowledged they were working in the United States illegally. Stony Brook University history professor Lori Flores, who has studied the Mexican farmworker movement, said these scenarios are commonplace. She noted “It’s an honor system.” She referred to the regulatory processes used to ensure safe transportation processes, “And it’s only when accidents … happen that agencies might get involved. But then it’s way too late.”

Lawmakers recently enacted the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA). However, transport deaths still occur for a variety of reasons. For instance, even though over 10,000 farm labor contractors are registered under the MSPA, the Department of Labor’s wage and hour division has only 976 investigators to enforce the rules under it.

Employees who have incurred job-related illnesses and injuries have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If this has happened to you in Raleigh or another area in North Carolina, do not hesitate to acquire the legal services of our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.

North Carolina’s injury and illness rate falls to historic low

North Carolina’s workplace injury and illness rate has fallen to a historic low for private industry. In 2015, the state had about 2.6 cases per 100 full-time workers, which is a drop from 2.7 in 2014. North Carolina’s numbers remain below the national average.

North Carolina Department of Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry said the state’s injury and illness rate declined by 51% (5.3 to 2.6) over the past 15 years. “The record-low injury and illness rate is a credit to the employers and employees of our state. Safety is being embraced by management as well as those on the front lines who are performing the state’s most dangerous work.”

The 2015 injury rate for the construction industry dropped to 2.7 per 100 full-time workers, down from 3.3 in 2014 and below the national rate of 3.5. For the manufacturing industry, the 2015 rate did not move, but it remained at 3.3, which is below the national rate of 3.8.

In the event of a workplace accident in Raleigh or another area of North Carolina, seek the legal assistance of our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC by filing a workers’ compensation benefits claim. Call our offices today at (919) 851-3311 to get in touch with lawyers who can help your situation.

Welder sues Nestle Purina over burn injuries after dust explosion

Andre Buschmann, welding supervisor for Arizona Equipment Fabrication, filed a lawsuit against pet food company Nestle Purina PetCare over severe burn injuries he suffered after a September 2014 dust explosion at the company’s manufacturing company in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Because of the incident, Buschmann sustained third-degree burns to his face, head, neck, ears, and back. He also incurred bruising, hearing loss, and dangerous smoke inhalation during the explosion and is plagued by post-traumatic stress disorder.

According to the United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), dust explosions frequently occur in industrial settings. The agency said under the right conditions materials that could produce an explosive environment include lots of dust, compact spaces, oxygen, and an ignition source. Buschmann said an investigation made by the Arizona Division of OSHA revealed that Nestle Purina did not secure the elevators before he and the other welders started working on the area. The federal agency fined Nestle Purina $5,000 for the issue.

Buschmann’s wife, Joy, is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, with the lawsuit claiming, “Joy Buschmann has been deprived of the support, services, love, companionship, solace, and affection of her husband by reason of the nature of her husband’s injuries.”

Our workers’ compensation lawyers at Scudder Seguin, PLLC provide legal assistance to individuals who have been hurt in workplace accidents in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina. Speak to a competent and aggressive member of our legal team by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.

UPS driver attacked and bitten by four dogs on the job

Ronald Robinson, a UPS driver, was delivering a package to a house on South Wedgewood Drive in Washington, North Carolina on Tuesday, September 13, when he was attacked by four dogs. The attack resulted in his hospitalization.

According to Beaufort County Animal Control, Robinson cried out for help once the dogs started biting him, and when two men came to his rescue, the dogs proceeded to attack them. A neighbor reported that one of the dogs bit one of the men in the face. The four dogs have since been quarantined and will continue to be held in captivity for at least the next 10 days.

The attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC have a great deal of experience when it comes to handling cases in practice areas such as workers’ compensation, permanent disability, temporary disability, and workplace injuries. We are prepared to help you in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina. Call our offices today at (919) 851-3311 to discuss your legal options.

OSHA fines Tyson Foods over $260,000 for workplace violations

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) discovered the multinational meat and poultry processor Tyson Foods Inc. exposed workers to amputation hazards and high levels of carbon dioxide and peracetic acid without providing them with protective equipment.

OSHA responded to a report of a finger amputation at a Tyson chicken processing facility in Texas. The inspectors identified two repeated and 15 serious violations and proposed the company pay $263,498 in fines. The investigation found that the employee amputated his finger when it got stuck in an unguarded conveyor belt while he was working in the debone area. He was trying to take out chicken parts that got stuck in the conveyor belt.

Our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC, provide legal services for our clients in Raleigh and other areas of North Carolina and handle workers’ compensation benefit cases. Get in touch with our attorneys by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311 so that you can discuss your case with a knowledgeable and experienced member of our legal team.

Employee killed when crushed by granite slab

A worker lost his life on Monday, July 25 during a workplace accident at the Raleigh, North Carolina-based natural stone, quartz, stainless steel, and porcelain sinks distributor Cosmos Granite & Marble. The accident occurred when he was hit by a 600-pound slab of granite that fell from a truck.

According to a spokesman for the North Carolina Department of Labor, on Tuesday, July 26, the employee was placing granite slabs onto a truck using a lifting device when the incident occurred. One slab was not properly positioned on the device and fell from it. When the worker tried to stop the slab, it landed on top of the worker and killed him.

In North Carolina, lawmakers are working toward regulations and policies that are designed to protect workers should they experience the misfortune of a workplace accident. The attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC are excited to see progress being made, but we are saddened to hear of this tragedy. Our condolences are with the family and friends of the victim as they mourn their loss.

NCDOT holds work zone safety summit

A three hour work zone safety summit held during the third week of July by North Carolina Department of Transportation officials focused on how to prevent work zone crashes.

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory emphasized the importance of highway safety by asking motorists to employ safe practices while driving through work zones, noting, “Our state is dedicated to enhancing work zone safety for both the highway worker and the traveling public. Keeping our roads safe is a shared responsibility, and all citizens must do their part.” North Carolina transportation chief engineer Mike Holder led the festivities. Representatives from various departments within the transportation system assisted him. Over 4,600 work zone accidents happened in the state in 2015, which caused 19 fatalities and 2,475 injuries. Three of the people who died during those crashes were construction workers.

If you or a family member incurred a serious workplace injury, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Our workers’ compensation attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC in Raleigh have ample experience handling personal injury cases. Call our offices today at (919) 851-3311 to learn more.

Businesses should attain zero workplace injuries – clients

Clients and investors want a commitment from businesses that they will attain zero workplace injuries, top corporate executives said during a recent national seminar. In a speech at the American Society of Safety Engineers’ annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia on Wednesday, June 29, Raleigh, North Carolina-based consulting and engineering firm S&ME Inc. president and chief executive officer Randy Neuhaus said, “If we don’t have a good safety record, we don’t even get to propose on projects. We wouldn’t work for [electric utility holding company] Southern Company if we didn’t have a good safety record.”

For his part, Oak Ridge, Tennessee-based cleanup contractor UCOR president and project manager Kenneth Reuter said that practicing safety in and out of the workplace “is a fundamental expectation of the client…from a business perspective, it’s the price of admission”, noting that their primary client, the United States Department of Energy, has a zero tolerance policy regarding this matter.

In the state of North Carolina, employees who acquired job-related illnesses and injuries are protected by the states workers’ compensation program, which require employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance. Our attorneys at Scudder Seguin, PLLC can help you file for workers’ compensation benefits if you had been injured in a workplace accident in Raleigh or other areas in the state when you call our offices today at (919) 851-3311.

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