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Burn injury at work worth taking legal action over?

Monroeville, PA |

I was changing the fryer grease and the filter was faulty, the hot grease poured right onto my foot and resulted in me being taken to the emergency room for a 2nd degree burn. I am receiving workman's comp, and they are paying for all doctor expenses. Is it worth taking legal action over, or should I just leave it up to workman's comp?

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Attorney answers 7


You cannot "take legal action" against your employer. You are limited to workers compensation through your employer. Your claim would potentially be against the manufacturer or any company that services the fryer. If you have some reason to believe the fryer has some manufacturing defect or if some company--again, not your employer--did not fix the faulty fryer or caused it to be faulty, then you may have a potential claim.
If you quickly recover from your burn then the value of any claim would be limited and perhaps not worth pursuing since it would not result in a meaningful economic recovery to you.
If you feel you have a claim it is important to pursue the fryer as is. If you have any intention in making a claim, contact a lawyer immediately and notify the workers compensation carrier of your intention as well as your employer to ensure they preserve the fryer. The workers compensation carrier would have an interest in assisting you with the claim since, if successful, they have a right to recover about two thirds of what they paid in medical expenses and the wage benefit.

If you feel this is the "best" answer or is "helpful," please indicate. Since I am limited to the information you provide, I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the answer. You should seek the advise of an attorney who can explore all aspects of your question. This communication does not form an attorney client relationship.


Unless you end up with a permanent scar or some other permanent injury, it probably would not be economically possible to bring a product liability claim against the maker of the filter. Your medical bills and lost wages will be paid by your Worker's Compensation Carrier.


It depends on how sever the injury is and if there was something defective about the fryer that led to your injuries.



It was a second degree burn, and the filter of the fryer was pointing down at my foot instead of filtering through normally. So when I went to filter it, the hot grease poured right onto my foot instead of through the filter. It was Burger King's fault more so than the fryer company's, since the fryer previously worked well, it was just broken.


consult with a WC or PI attorney. You may have a separate defective product claim that is separate from the WC.


Can't sue employer, as remedy is workers comp. A lawyer can investigate whether there is a third party claim for a defective fryer


Fortunately you are collecting workmens' compensation. You cannot collect damages for pain and suffering from your employer.
I do not know how severe your injury will be or how long you will be out of work, but, regardless, you should call a lawyer to see if you have a viable claim against the fitler manufacturer or anyone else. Most good personal injury lawyers will give you a free consultation.


Under PA workers compensation laws, you cannot sue your employer and your remedy will only be achieved in a workers compensation claim for medical bills and lost wages. Nyou may be entitled for pecific loss benefits if you have suffered scarring. Nyou should consult and retain an experienced workers compensation attorney.

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