Ohio Coal Mining Fatality Leads to Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed by the Fitzsimmons Law Firm

The Fitzsimmons Law Firm recently filed a workplace intentional tort and product liability claim over the wrongful death of a 41 year old coal miner who was killed on the job. The plaintiff's decedent was killed when the base lift jack on the longwall shield on which he was working unexpectedly failed causing him to sustain fatal injuries. According to the Complaint, the mine operator, inter alia, failed to comply with MSHA and Ohio mining laws and regulations, failed to ensure the safe working condition of the longwall shield and base lift jack, and failed to develop and implement an effective maintenance program for the longwall mining system. The Complaint also asserts negligence and product liability causes of action against the manufacturers, designers, and suppliers of the base lift jack and longwall shield for negligence, defective design, failure to warn, and breach of warranty. The Complaint seeks damages for pre-death pain, suffering and mental anguish; medical and funeral expenses; loss of the plaintiff's decedent's support from his reasonably expected earning capacity and services; loss of the plaintiff's decedent's society, companionship, consortium, care, assistance, attention, protection, advice, guidance, counsel, and instruction; the beneficiaries' mental anguish, and loss of prospective inheritance. At the time of the fatality, the decedent was survived by his wife and three children.

Notwithstanding workers' compensation benefits, an individual who is injured or killed on the job in Ohio may have a separate cause of action against his/her employer or other third party. In Ohio, an employer is generally granted immunity for workplace injuries and death. This means that the employer cannot be sued. However, an injured employee may file a claim against his/her employer in Ohio if the employer acted with the intent to injure and/or with the belief that injury or death was substantially certain to occur. This is called a workplace intentional tort and is codified in Ohio Rev. Code § 2745.01. Additionally, a worker killed or injured on the job in Ohio, may have a cause of action against a third party who may be liable in whole or part for the wrongful death or injuries.

The Fitzsimmons Law Firm is a personal injury litigation firm that has dedicated its practice to standing up for workers killed or injured on the job throughout Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and across the country. Over 35 years, our firm has represented injured workers in a wide variety of claims including oil and gas accidents, pipeline accidents, coal mining accidents, construction accidents, and industrial accidents.


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