Wife Raises Questions Following Husband’s Fatal Workplace Accident
Dave Rafferty, a 30-year-old equipment mechanic and welder, was killed in workplace accident after being pinned under a loading dock plate at the Del Monte Foods plant in Modesto, which he was sent to repair. According to a report in the Modesto Bee, the fatal accident occurred June 15, 2016. The Stanislaus County Coroner’s office determined that Rafferty died of a crush injury to the chest. The metal plate under which he was found was too heavy to be lifted by the person who found him.
More Questions Than Answers
His wife, Amanda Rafferty, says she has a lot of questions including why her husband was working alone and how long he was trapped under the plate before he was found? Was there an equipment malfunction? Why was she not contacted by anyone from Del Monte or the California Occupational Health and Safety Administration (Cal/OSHA), which is investigating the incident? Del Monte has issued a statement saying that they are working with local authorities.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Dave Rafferty, particularly his wife Amanda and their young child, for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. We offer our sympathies to them.
What Caused This Fatal Accident?
Based on this news report, it appears that there are more questions than answers here. What caused Rafferty to become trapped under the heavy plate? As his wife says, why was he working alone? Was he being supervised at the time? Did he have all the proper equipment and safety gear needed to perform the repair job? Did an unexpected equipment malfunction cause the fatal accident? Was Rafferty not warned about a dangerous condition before he took on the job? These are just some questions that must be answered in order to determine precisely what occurred here and why.
Justice for Workers and Families
In such cases where a worker dies on the job, his family can seek workers’ compensation death benefits from his employer. However, California workers’ compensation benefits are woefully inadequate when it comes to compensating a family for the loss of a primary wage earner or breadwinner, not to mention the loss of a beloved husband and dad.
In addition to claiming workers’ compensation, families may also be able to file a third-party claim against a party other than the employer, depending on the circumstances of the case. Examples of third parties include contractors, sub-contractors, property owners and manufacturers of defective products. An experienced California job injury lawyer will be able to help secure and preserve crucial evidence and assist the family will seeking and obtaining the compensation they rightfully deserve.