About two decades ago, a woman in New Mexico sued McDonald’s for hot coffee burns. She was coming through the drive-thru window getting her order when the hot beverage fell into her lap. Now today, even after all of the criticism that that particular case got for being a frivolous lawsuit, another woman from California is suing Mickey D’s for the same thing. So the question is, if an employer will pay a customer millions of dollars for getting scalded by a hot brew, would they as graciously compensate one of their own employees who was burned while doing their job?
The International Labor Organization reports that about 6,300 deaths happen every single day due to workplace accidents. That’s over 2,000,000 people yearly who die from things that their employers should be taking measures to protect their workers from, like severe burns. Sometimes, these burns are fatal, as with one case that happened in Ecorse, Michigan just a little while ago. Just this month, a man operating a crane at US Steel Great Lakes Works died a horrible death on the job. Chris Castro, a 36-year-old father of three, was burned to death when an oxygen furnace tipped over. Many feel that the company itself should be held responsible for Chris’ fatal accident, seeing as how they have a lengthy record of unsafe practices.
A person that is hurt or killed on any type of job is a terrible occurrence, but restaurant workers seem to be at a huge risk more times than in many other occupations. In one study, The Washington State Department of Labor Industries found that almost 50 workers from the years 2000-2008 were injured badly enough to have to go to the hospital. Cooking water, oil, steam, and other liquids were the cause of these burns, and those personal injuries could have been prevented if the right precautions had been taken by the employer.
For example, many times fast food employees simply slip and fall, and when they do they grab for anything to prevent hitting the ground too hard. Unfortunately, what they’ll possibly end up catching is a boiling pot of water or a hot pan. They wouldn’t have slipped in the first place if the restaurant owner had simply taken more time to think about his employees’ overall safety and invested just a little bit of his money into some non-slip floor mats for them. Also, if more restaurants would put up things like splash screens (which protect workers when frying foods like wings or French fries), then their employees would be a lot safer while working their shifts.
When a person is burned, it is an injury that they will have to deal with for years to come, and should be compensated if their getting hurt was due to an employer’s negligence. The lawyers at Makarem and Associates are the best at representing Worker’s comp cases, catastrophic injury and personal injury cases. Call Makarem & Associates at 310.312.0299 or send an email to [email protected].