The recent explosion of Adair Grain fertilizer plant in West, Texas, gives rise to a complicated set of legal claims including wrongful death claims, survival claims, worker’s compensation claims for medical and wages benefits, worker’s compensation gross negligence death claims, and ordinary negligence claims.
The employees of Adair Grain, Inc., assuming the existence of workers’ compentation insurance, who were injured but did not die will have claims for lost wages and medical benefits pursuant to the employers’ workers’ compensation insurance policy. These employees are prohibited from suing Adair Grain directly pursuant to the grant of immunity by the Texas Worker’s Compensation Act. The families and economic dependants of the employees who died in the explosion have a right to file what is commonly referred to as an “Employers B” claim against Adair Grain for gross negligence. The gross negligence claimants may recover punitive damages in addition to statutory worker’s compensation benefits.
In the event that there is no workers’ compensation policy in effect then the employer loses both it’s common law defense of contributory negligence and the Workers’ Compensation Acts’ grant of immunity and the injured or deceased employees and their families may file ordinary personal injury, wrongful death and survival claims.
Non-employees who were injured or suffered property damage may file ordinary negligence claims for personal injury damages or property losses. Fatal injuries to non-employees give rise to wrongful death and survival claims.
For more information contact www.earldrottlaw.com.