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Dead worker's children receive $30 million jury award

The children of a man from Anaheim who died after an apparent work-related accident received some vindication from a California jury, which awarded them a verdict of $30 million. The fatal accident happened in Riverside County at a recycling plant.

According to reports, the man got caught and mangled by a piece of heavy machinery while he was doing his duties at the recycling plant. Although it wasn't clear whether the man received workers' compensation from the recycling plant, his family also chose to sue the manufacturer of the machinery, alleging that the machine lacked important safety features on it. The man's family did not sue the man's former employer.

Specifically, the family asserted that the machine did not have any emergency shutoff feature that would have protected bystanders who would happen to get trapped by the machine, as this man did, even though these sorts of features are available on many common household items and other machines.

Even though the jury awarded $30 million to the children of the deceased worker, the manufacturer of the machine was only assessed 70 percent fault under California's comparative fault scheme, which means that it will only be responsible to pay $21 million. This amount may be reduced further because of another settlement which the man's family reached with an unnamed defendant.

This sad case illustrates that work-related personal injury and wrongful death cases can be complicated and involve a number of parties. However, a family, like the one involved in this case, can still hope to receive compensation following a loved one's serious injury or untimely death. A Riverside family who is going through an experience similar to that of the family in this story may want to consider having an experienced litigator help them evaluate their legal options.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "Jury awards $30 million to children of Anaheim man killed in Riverside County machinery accident," March 19, 2018.

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