Dallas, TX — A fatal work accident that involved a forklift at the Nationwide Plastics plant in Dallas on Wednesday (June 5, 2013) left two workers dead. Authorities have identified 59-year old Humble resident Jimmie O’Farrell as one of the workers who was killed, but have identified the other deceased worker only as a 51-year old man from Duncanville.

According to the news reports, O’Farrell and his co-worker were in the parking lot of Nationwide Plastics on Wednesday evening at about 6:45 p.m. when the accident happened. Both men were working with a load that was in the back of a truck when an unmanned forklift, for unknown reasons, became mobile and ran over them.

Both were killed immediately in the accident and police are still investigating the cause.

Scene of the Accident

Commentary:

In all likelihood, this employer carries workers’ comp coverage and will handle this accident through their administrative process. What does this mean for the victims and their families? In most instances, the victim’s family would receive wrongful death benefits from the workers’ comp claim that would be filed in conjunction with the fatal accident. However, workers’ comp coverage prevents a lawsuit from being filed against the employer, except in the case of gross negligence. This is significant because the wrongful death benefits paid out by the workers’ comp claim are ultimately based on current wages and economic factors, but do not include the damages for loss of spouse, loss of companionship, and all the other aspects of being part of a family that isn’t accounted for in numbers. If, in fact, gross negligence was the major contributing factor here (and I am skeptical of how a forklift can simply become mobile without some irresponsibility being a factor) then Texas Labor Law does allow a cause of action to be brought against the employer so that hopefully the family can receive their due amount of damages from the loss of their father, brother, or husband.

Lastly, I would really recommend a thorough investigation here because whenever heavy machinery is involved in accidents like this one, there is the possibility of a defective machine. This would be an issue with the manufacturer of the forklift, which would ultimately be filed as a products liability claim.

 

— Grossman Law Offices

Recent Comments to the Blog

Jason is back to work and is now playing Sled Hockey and wheelchair rugby!! Jason is the strongest and most amazing man! He may nly have 1/2 a leg, but that is ALL he is lacking!! Thanks to prayer and GOD and awsome first responders and Baylor doctors. Jason's wife, Sheila
— Sheila
I'm a former employee. I had brought up this exact scenario and suggested a maintenance procedure that would eliminate the possibility of this type injury. Obviously my warning went unheeded.
— Tophat
I was actually a couple cars back from this wreck, one of the first on the scene, and helped administer CPR on the victims. The truck driver was going way too fast, but it was actually his trailer that swung around and hit the suv, the semi-truck ended in the median.
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I am Anthony Siffords daughter. im 13 and i miss my dad i just wanted everyone to know that he is in a better place now and i would to thank everyone for the support. i miss my dad but it was amazing to see how many people had been toughed by my dad god bless thanks for everything...
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Thank you for posting these accident articles on your site. At the company that I work for, e deal with monitoring construction activity and work around trenches and all sorts of construction equipment/vehicles. I sometimes wonder if construction companies have enough safety training to inform employees of how to protect themselves while on the job.
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