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Restaurant Manager Killed in Chemical Accident

By DiBella Law Offices on January 20, 2020

On November 7th, 2019, Mr. Ryan Balder tragically died from fatal toxic fumes accidentally created by an employee mixing bleach and acid. He was the manager of the local Burlington Buffalo Wild Wings, and he heroically returned into the restaurant to save people and contain the situation, despite the risks. This incident sent 13 people to the hospital and would have been far more serious if Mr. Balder hadn’t risked his life in his efforts to save the lives of others.

Many people have asked, however, what the legal recourse is for his wife and infant child. Do they have legal recourse to compensation for the wrongful death of their husband and father? The answer is yes.

Wrongful Death in the Workplace

If you have had a loved one die at work or succumb from injuries sustained at work, you are going through one of the most challenging times of your life. You will be struggling with putting your life back together after such a personal tragedy – while facing an uncertain financial future.

Who Can Be Held Liable?

In some cases, a third party can be held liable. Under state workers’ compensation law, workers sacrifice their ability to file a lawsuit against an employer for the ability to have medical bills paid, along with benefits. In cases of loss of life, the surviving spouse has a right to recover workers’ comp benefits – which are rarely enough to get by.

In some cases, a third party can be held liable for the death. These are cases in which another party, not the employer, acted in a negligent manner, resulting in the death. To file a claim against a third party, it must be fully established that the actions of the third party caused, in full or in part, the death of the person. The types of parties that could be held liable could include:

  • Equipment manufacturers
  • Maintenance companies
  • Vehicle manufacturers or parts manufacturers (in vehicle accidents)
  • Chemical companies (cases of toxic fumes)
  • Building owners
  • Others

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers’ compensation can cover some of the losses associated with the death of a loved one. These benefits include:

  • Weekly benefits up to two thirds of the average weekly income of your deceased loved one (to a limit)
  • Burial expenses

It may be possible to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for the personal and emotional losses associated with the loss of your loved one. These lawsuits can be filed in cases in which an employer engaged in egregious wanton or reckless acts, or the actions of third party contributed to the accident. A wrongful death case can be filed to pursue compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • The value of the income the deceased person would have earned over a lifetime
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Loss of the care, guidance, love, and support that would have been provided by your family member
  • Punitive damages could be pursued in cases of gross negligence, wanton disregard for the safety of others, willful actions, or reckless conduct

Why You Need A Lawyer

Having an experienced, successful trial lawyer by your side can make all the difference in how your case is resolved:

  • Increased compensation. The value of the benefits paid to the family through workers’ comp can be negotiated by a skilled litigator.
  • Peace of mind. When you are grieving for a loved one, you do not need to be spending your time on the legal issues surrounding your case. Your case can be managed by the knowledgeable and experienced attorneys at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., so you can focus on your grieving, healing, and putting your life back together.

Connect with DiBella Law Offices, P.C.

Our award-winning attorneys at DiBella Law Offices, P.C., understand how it feels to lose a loved one in a tragic accident. We believe that victims deserve to receive the compensation they need to cope with tragedy and face the future, and we fight relentlessly for our clients. Christopher DiBella, our managing partner, was inducted into the National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 under 40 exclusive membership as a result of his outstanding accomplishments at trial. If you’ve lost a loved one at the workplace or in any situation due to negligence, contact us today at (978) 327-5140 for a free consultation.

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Whether you're having family issues, dealing with the law, or hurt in an accident, the best way to get through it intact is by calling the experienced legal team at DiBella Law Offices, P.C.

The sooner you speak to us, the better, so call (781) 262-3338 for our Burlington office or (978) 327-5140 for our Methuen office for a free consultation.