Widow and Step-child vs. Employer/Insurer

Thomas L. Holder

Case Conclusion Date:March 21, 2008

Practice Area:Workers Compensation

Outcome:Settled for $175,000

Description:Tom Holder represented the widow and dependent step-child of a man who died on the job. He was holding a big punch that was attached to a crane. The punch was used to dig holes in the ground in which utility pipes are placed. Unfortunately, the crane, which was operated by his supervisor, was placed directly under electrical wires. The cable of the crane touched the electrical wires. The electricity ran down the arm of the crane into the punch that our client was holding, killing him. There were two issues. The first arose because the deceased failed his drug test. However, a toxicologist testified that the amount of drugs found in his system was consistent with his having smoked marijuana 36 hours prior to the accident, which is what the widow testified. Additionally, the doctor said that this would not have affected his ability to work properly. Also, his supervisor, who had worked with the deceased for 15 years, testified that our client was working properly on the date of his death and did not do anything to cause the accident. The second issue was whether or not the widow's daughter from a prior marriage was a dependent step-child. After testimony, it was agreed that she was. The case settled for $175,000, with $135,000 going to the widow and $40,000 going to the step-child. We are glad that we could help this family in its time of need.