A union laborer who had been with his employer for approximately six years was tragically killed when the trench he was working in collapsed and immediately flooded, trapping and drowning the employee in the process.
The insurer subsequently commenced payment of survivor’s benefits to his widow under M.G.L.c. § 39. In turn, the employee’s counsel brought a claim under M.G.L.c. § 28 for serious and willful misconduct on the part of the employer in the matter. As proof, employee’s counsel cited the serious violations found by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, while also conjuring a vital witness to the scene who had observed the employee in the trench prior to its collapse.
After a series of back and forth negotiations between employee’s counsel and the insurer, the matter settled for $1,400,000. This settlement represented over seventeen (17) years of survivor’s benefits and provided the decedent’s widow and children with much needed financial security.
Attorney(s): Sean C. Flaherty
Date: December 4, 2018