A Fort Worth woman was tragically killed in a recycling plant accident on January 31. A stack of one-ton recycled bales were unstable and two of them fell, crushing the woman instantly. Officials at the recycling plant have said they will cooperate with authorities in the investigation.
A Similar Accident Killed A 42-Year-Old Man Just A Month Earlier
A month before the accident in Fort Worth, a man was also killed in a similar way. In another recycling plant, a group of recycled bales dislodged and fell on a 42-year-old man. These bales weighed 1000 lbs each and crushed him, killing him instantly.
Whenever these types of fatal accidents happen, companies are required to report them to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). That organization then investigates the incident, how future accidents like those can be prevented, and if it was a preventable or unpreventable accident.
Can The Family Of The Employee That Was Killed Receive Death Benefits?
Fortunately, the government requires companies to carry workman’s compensation insurance. This insurance is designed to protect employees in the case of a work-related injury or death. If they are injured then this type of insurance can cover medical costs and lost wages. When a death occurs it means that a spouse or children will usually be eligible to receive benefits.
Some of the purposes that the money received can be used for include covering the burial expenses of the deceased. For the widowed spouse, it can be used to pay for daily expenses to help replace the lost wages of the deceased until the living spouse remarries. In some cases, the living spouse can get a lump sum compensation.
Most people agree that the workman’s compensation is beneficial. Although one of the primary drawbacks is the fact that under workman’s compensation the family of the deceased is usually not able to sue the company. This means that even if the company was found to be negligent, the family may not be able to sue for any additional compensation even though the accident was the company’s fault.
Compensation and Justice for a Loved One
Tragedies like these are devastating for a victim’s family. These accidents are often caused by negligence or unenforced work safety rules. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a workplace accident, call us for a free consultation. You may be entitled to compensation. We’ve been handling workplace accidents and explosions since 1983. Call our lawyers at Williams Harttoday at (888) 220-0640 to learn more about work-related deaths or injuries and what can be done to receive compensation and justice.
Apparently, Diaz took a handful of recommended precautions for riding a bicycle at night to avoid exactly this kind of event. Not only was he wearing a helmet during his ride, he had lights affixed to both the front and back of the bike. Neither University of Texas police nor Cap Metro have identified a cause of the accident, at least not publicly.
The bus had eight passengers aboard when the incident occurred, but none of them nor the driver were injured.
Capital Metro officials said they drug tested the driver after the incident, but they have not offered much else in the way of information about her. They did not identify who she is nor did they discuss anything about her employment with Cap Metro or if she had been or will be fired for the accident.
Mourning an Avoidable Death
Image via Anthony Diaz/FOX 7 Austin
Following Diaz’s death, Cap Metro CEO and President Randy Clarke released a statement that said,
“On behalf of the entire Cap Metro family, I would like to express our deepest condolences to the friends and family of Mr. Diaz during this difficult time. We will continue our internal investigation of the accident and are working cooperatively with law enforcement officials. As a cyclist, I feel very strongly about the importance of safety for cyclists and all roadway users. The 1,800 men and women of CapMetro consider safety our number one value and are committed to operating your community’s public transportation system in a safe and courteous manner.”
Diaz was employed at FOX 7 Austin where he worked in operations for their news department. The channel noted that “Tony loved cheeseburgers and the Kansas basketball program.” Before working for FOX 7, Diaz spent time in the U.S. Navy and the Armed Forces Network.
Making Yourself More Visible While Biking
As noted before, Diaz had working lights attached to his bicycle and they were turned on during his ride. For most cyclists, those lights, combined with the helmet, probably feel like more than enough to ensure their safety. However, Diaz’s death serve as a stark reminder that even taking precautions won’t give anyone an absolute guarantee of safety.
Nonetheless, those who are biking at night can take even more steps to increase their visibility if they decide to bike at night. These include:
Use reflective tape and surfaces – Special reflective tape and clothing is designed to catch ambient or direct light and shine much brighter than other surfaces. Added bonus: these items usually come in colors that the human brain registers faster than other hues, which adds another level of safety.
Wear high-contrast clothing – Bright clothing can help auto drivers better identify bicyclists movement and pathing since these clothes help differentiate bicyclists from the surrounding area.
More lights is better – When it comes to riding a bicycle at night, there is no such thing as too many lights unless they directly interfere with the rider’s own visibility or their ability to maneuver. Consider using lights on the frame of the bike, getting wheel spoke LED lights, and attaching a headlamp to the helmet.
Combine it all together – There is no reason that if you are going to bike at night that you can’t use all of the methods above and more.
Not being seen while riding can be fatal. That alone should give bicyclists a reason to take every step they can to make themselves more visible.
Compensation for Bicycling Injuries or Death
If you or a loved one has been involved in a bicycling accident that resulted in injury or death, seeking legal representation to fight on your behalf can go a long way in making sure that you and your family are fairly and fully compensated for the pain and suffering or bereavement caused by the incident.
The personal injury attorneys at Williams Kherkher have fought for families just like yours since 1983 and have won financial awards above and beyond original settlements offered time and again. We will use every applicable resource, our extensive experience, and our team of professionals to make sure that you receive the compensation that you are rightfully due after an injury or death.
We’re ready to discuss your case in a free consultation whenever you are. Contact us to schedule an appointment and get your case moving toward justice today.
The initial investigation indicates the SUV and 18-wheeler entered the intersection of Jack Warner Parkway and Bryant Bridge at the same time. There, the 4Runner then attempted to turn onto the Bryant Bridge on-ramp in front of the 18-wheeler.
The investigation is still taking place, and the victim’s names haven’t been released. It is not believed at this time the driver of the Quest Liner was impaired when the accident happened.
Recent 18-Wheeler Accidents in Houston
The host of a TVONE sports show focusing on cricket died when he sped into the back of a stalled 18-wheeler in October. The collision ripped off the top of the driver’s four-door BMW, and the driver died there. The 18-wheeler was stalled due to a previous accident on the freeway, and the truck driver had just finished setting up traffic cones around his vehicle. The rig was stalled on the road due to an earlier crash, but it is still unclear as to why the BMW collided with the stalled truck.
Also in October, an 18-wheeler carrying lumber spilled its load, causing the wood to splinter and spread all over the northbound lanes of the Eastex Freeway. While no one was injured in the incident, six vehicles were damaged and a number of those had to be towed away. A local news helicopter also caught footage that showed a large piece of the splintered lumber had pierced the middle of a truck’s windshield.
In November, an 18-wheeler drove into a guardrail in northwest Harris County and burst into flames. The driver was engulfed in flames ejected from the vehicle. He died at the scene. It is unknown whether he had his seatbelt on. Witnesses to the event said the driver was speeding and swerving lane to lane before the accident. Taking this into account, other drivers on the road at the time are lucky they weren’t a part of the accident.
There are numerous other examples of accidents happening on Houston’s roadways involving 18-wheelers and other large trucks, and unfortunately they often end with someone dying or being injured. It’s rare that everyone involved in one of these crashes goes unscathed – the size and weight of commercial vehicles tend to leave the passenger cars they collide with crushed or flung about.
Liability, Representation, and Litigation in Commercial Truck Crashes
Even if it seems that the victims in accidents like those discussed here seem like they are at fault, investigation can reveal a variety of other issues that move the liability to other parties. These changes in fault can occur due to discoveries relating to substance use, mechanical error, maintenance issues, and other forms of negligence.
We can help investigate the accident and will use our extensive resources to determine who is truly at fault for the injury or death you and your family has endured. Often during multi-vehicle accidents, more than one driver can be found at fault for the incident. When this happens, the court will determine how much of the fault should be attributed to each driver. From this, damages are established accordingly. Having a lawyer on your side can greatly help your cause when this occurs, especially when going against a trucking company.
Get Legal Help for Your 18-wheeler Accident Today
Because of the way fault and damages are determined, experience in injury law is paramount in keeping justice on your side. If you have been injured in a collision with an 18-wheeler, or you have lost a loved one to such an accident, it is imperative that you contact Williams Hart to discuss the specifics of your case in a free consultation with our attorneys as soon as possible. The sooner you act, the better our staff can investigate the accident and have all the facts available before trucking or insurance companies can manipulate the system or eliminate any evidence they have deemed problematic for their side of the case.
The victim, Janet Kavanaugh died on December 11, 2017 where she received the dosage at 5:45 AM and was pronounced death at 6:30 AM. Doctor William Husel, who was treating Kavanaugh reportedly ordered that she be given 1,000 micrograms of the drug through the victim’s IV. The amount of the drug prescribed was “grossly inappropriate and excessive”, according to a medical expert.
Despite the excessive prescribing of Fentanyl, lawyers say that either Mount Carmel’s electronic medical records system failed to flag it and alert Kavanaugh’s medical providers or it was flagged and ignored.
Pharmacist Talon Schroyer and nurse Tyler Rudman are also named in the lawsuit with claims they were aware of the excessive prescription.
The administrators of Mount Carmel called Kavanaugh’s daughter on December 28, 2018 and told that her mother was given an excessive dosage of Fentanyl and the staff members involved were suspended from their posts, according to the lawsuit. Kavanaugh’s daughter got another call on January 14, 2019 citing that at least 26 patients were victims of excessive and inappropriate Fentanyl dosages.
The lawsuit filed on behalf of Kavanaugh’s estate claims that the hospital was negligent for letting Dr. Husel practice in their facilities and negligent in supervising their staff.
A statement released by president and CEO of Mount Carmel Health System Ed Lamb stated the incident has been reported to the authorities after an internal investigation, terminated doctor’s employment, and removed him from all patient care. “We’re working hard to learn all we can about these cases, and we removed 20 hospital staff from providing further patient care while we gather more facts,” Lamb says.
Mount Carmel Health System’s full statement:
“Mount Carmel recently reported to authorities, the results of an internal investigation regarding the care provided by a doctor who, until recently, worked with patients requiring intensive care.
During the five years he worked here, this doctor ordered significantly excessive and potentially fatal doses of pain medication for at least 27 patients who were near death.
These patients’ families had requested that all life-saving measures be stopped, yet the amount of medicine the doctor ordered was more than what was needed to provide comfort.
On behalf of Mount Carmel and Trinity Health, our parent organization, we apologize for this tragedy, and we’re truly sorry for the additional grief this may cause these families. Our team has contacted these families and will continue to answer their questions and concerns as best as we can.
Following our discovery, we addressed related patient safety issues. We removed this doctor from all patient care and terminated his employment. We reported this situation to the appropriate authorities, including law enforcement. We changed processes to help ensure this event does not happen again.
We’re working hard to learn all we can about these cases, and we removed 20 hospital staff from providing further patient care while we gather more facts. This includes a number of nurses who administered the medication and a number of staff pharmacists who were also involved in the related patient care.
Mount Carmel provides compassionate care that takes into account the decisions of patients and their families. We believe in helping patients who are near death die peacefully and naturally.
The actions instigated by this doctor were unacceptable and inconsistent with the values and practices of Mount Carmel, regardless of the reasons the actions were taken. We take responsibility for the fact that the processes in place were not sufficient to prevent these actions from happening. We’re doing everything to understand how this happened and what we need to do to ensure it never happens again. We’re joined in this effort by leaders of Trinity Health and we’ve asked outside experts to assist us.
Our integrated team is identifying immediate root causes to ensure that our best-practice care guidelines are followed. So far, these include a new escalation policy for increases in pain medication dosing and a new approval process for pain medication at high doses during similar situations.
For many years, Mount Carmel has worked to reduce medical errors and create a culture in which staff report concerns. In particular, over the past 18 months, we have engaged in ZeroHarm and High-Reliability training to stop preventable medical errors-work that puts systems into place to make the care we provide highly reliable and consistent. This focus on high-reliability helped us to discover these events because one of our employees spoke up and reported a safety concern.
Despite our meaningful progress in building a high-reliability organization, we recognize we have more work to do. We’re committed to making sure our employees work in an environment where they have the right to speak-up-without fear of retribution.
As with everything we do, we will continue to rely on our values to guide us in responding to these events. We will continue to do the right thing, to act with integrity and be transparent.
While these actions have brought shock and hurt to our organization, this will not define us.
Our more than 11,000 employees at Mount Carmel are outstanding professionals committed to safe, high-quality, people-centered care. Together, we will find strength in the values and beliefs we’re known for.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the involved patients and their families, and we ask for their forgiveness.
We will learn from this, and we will do better-because our patients and their families deserve our very best.”
The Dangers of Fentanyl
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), fentanyl is a powerful drug similar to other opioids, but 50 to 100 times more potent. It’s a schedule II prescription drug and typically used to treat patients suffering from severe pain or to help them manage pain post surgery.
Fentanyl is often administered through an injection, lozenges or a transdermal patch. There are recent cases of Fentanyl overdoses that are produced or administered in clandestine laboratories or facilities. Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl often comes in other forms, including:
Spiked on blotter paper
Mixed with or substituted with heroin
Why is Fentanyl Dangerous?
Potent opioids such as fentanyl can cause breathing to stop entirely which can lead to death. The higher the potency of the drug, the more at risk of overdose. The medication naloxone is an opioid receptor that reverses overdose and restores normal breathing. Fentanyl overdose should be treated by this receptor and may require higher doses to successfully reverse the overdose.
Filing a Case Against Wrongful Death
Losing a loved one from another party’s negligence is one of the most devastating things that can ever happen to a family. Wrongful deaths in Houston are one of the many case types our lawyers at Williams Hart handle, and we understand the pain our clients go through.
We are here to help you pursue justice and bring the law to your side. Call us today at (713) 352-7071 or visit our office to start working with our team.