Category Archives: Uncategorized

Cal/OSHA fines aviation company in death of LAX baggage worker

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.latimes.com

LAX ramp area
LAX ramp area

State officials fined an aviation services company $77,250 on Wednesday for five safety violations related to the death of a baggage worker in February at Los Angeles International Airport.


Related: Luggage cart that killed LAX worker had no seat belt, officials say
Related: Luggage cart that killed LAX worker had no seat belt, officials say

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health leveled the penalty against Menzies Aviation, whose employee, Cesar Valenzuela, 51, died after being thrown from a baggage tug that did not have a functional seat belt.

Cal/OSHA investigators said seatbelts were required for the vehicle and that Menzies’ safety policies related to baggage tugs did not require and even discouraged the use of restraints in certain areas of LAX.

"This fatality could have been prevented with a well thought out and implemented safety plan as is required for all worksites in California," said Christine Baker, director of the state Department of Industrial Relations.


Decision on seeking death penalty for accused LAX shooter due by fall
Decision on seeking death penalty for accused LAX shooter due by fall

Menzies and other aviation service companies contract with airlines to provide cabin cleaners, security personnel, custodians, wheel-chair assistants and baggage handlers.

The citations prompted union officials and service company employees to renew their calls for improvements to working conditions at LAX, the nation’s third-busiest airport.

"Workers punching in at the start of a shift ought to be able to finish the day without risking their health or losing their life,"…

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Family of BU student killed in fire prepares lawsuit

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.bostonglobe.com

Binland Lee

The family of a 22-year-old Boston University student who died in a fire last year after getting trapped in her attic bedroom is filing a lawsuit against the landlord and brokers, accusing them of renting an illegal apartment with insufficient exits and a faulty fire-alarm system.

The wrongful death suit, which is expected to be filed Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court, comes three months after the Globe’s Spotlight Team published a detailed reconstruction of that terrifying morning in Allston when Binland Lee’s last screams were heard as her fellow tenants jumped out of third-floor windows at 87 Linden St.

The Spotlight investigation revealed persistent problems at the overcrowded house and the failure of key individuals — from the building’s past and present owners to city regulators — to do much about them. When Lee, a marine science major from Brooklyn, moved into the building in 2012, landlord Anna Belokurova was renting out nearly every space as a bedroom, leaving the tenants on the third floor with only one way out, down a flight of stairs. On April 28, 2013, those stairs were blocked by surging smoke and flames.

The first warning people on the third floor received of the approaching inferno was when the smoke detector on the ceiling of the attic’s common hallway was activated, according to the lawsuit. By the time the alarm went off, thick smoke and heat made it impossible to use the stairs to escape.

The apartment did…

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Mother files wrongful death lawsuit over 19-year-old son who died on Rikers Island in solitary confinement

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.nydailynews.com

Andy Henriquez, 19, suffered a slow, agonizing and lonely death while he was locked up in solitary confinement at Rikers Island, court papers charge.
Andy Henriquez, 19, suffered a slow, agonizing and lonely death while he was locked up in solitary confinement at Rikers Island, court papers charge.

A 19-year-old man suffered a slow, agonizing and lonely death while he was locked up in solitary confinement at Rikers Island, court papers charge.

Andy Henriquez, his friends, family members and even his fellow inmates pleaded with guards to get him proper medical help in the days before his April 7, 2013, death, but prison officials just turned a deaf ear, his mother charges in a wrongful-death suit.

“We believe the conditions at Rikers . . . are deplorable,” said the family’s lawyer, Carmen Giordano.

A MAY 17, 2011 FILE PHOTO
A MAY 17, 2011 FILE PHOTO

The suit, filed in October and seeking unspecified damages, says that while in lockup, Henriquez complained frequently about chest pains and breathing problems before dying of a ruptured aorta.

A city Law Department rep declined to comment. A spokesman for the city Correction Department said the agency cannot comment on ongoing litigation.

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Sedgwick County judge dismisses toddler death lawsuit

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from cjonline.com

WICHITA — A Sedgwick County judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing a state agency of failing to protect a toddler before she was killed.

Sedgwick County District Judge William Woolley said in his ruling that Kansas law “does not impose on child welfare agencies an independent duty” in the investigation of child abuse. And because there is no duty, or legal obligation, there can be no claim of negligence against the state child-protection agency, the judge wrote.

Woolley’s ruling last week was in response to a lawsuit brought after the death of 18-month-old Jayla Haag, who died in 2012 with injuries that included brain swelling, bleeding around her eyes and teeth that had been forcibly removed. The lawsuit, brought on behalf of the child’s father, claimed DCF was told Jayla was being abused and did nothing to protect her.

The state had sought the dismissal of the lawsuit.

DCF spokeswoman Theresa Freed said in a statement Friday that the agency appreciates the judge’s “careful consideration of this case,” The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/UvEhBe).

“Any death of a child is a tragedy, and our hearts go out to those mourning the loss of a child. DCF takes seriously its responsibility to protect children,” Freed said.

Jayla was living with her mother, Alyssa Haag, and her mother’s boyfriend in El Dorado at the time of her death. Alyssa Haag, 24, was sentenced for involuntary manslaughter-reckless and is serving…

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California schools face lawsuit over physical education classes

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.latimes.com

P.E. lawsuit
P.E. lawsuit

Thousands of elementary school teachers have been asked this summer to hold on to their lesson plans as 37 school districts throughout the state seek to show that they are providing students with required exercise.

A lawsuit was filed in October in San Francisco County Superior Court on behalf of plaintiffs Marc Babin, a parent, and Cal200, an organization he heads that advocates for elementary school physical education. Babin’s children, now adults, went to school in the Alameda Unified School District, one of the defending districts, according to his Albany, Calif., attorney, Donald Driscoll.

"School districts have been routinely ignoring the law," Driscoll said. And the Los Angeles Unified School District, the state’s largest, "has been a particular offender. They give lip service to the idea that P.E. is important. That just plain doesn’t work. What that produces is kids who don’t get enough exercise."

L.A. Unified, along with Palm Springs Unified and others, have asked teachers to show that they are meeting state requirements for physical education. The lesson plans typically outline schedules for instruction, activities and classes.

New database details pay of California public school employees
New database details pay of California public school employees

In addition to lunch and recess, schools must offer kindergarten through sixth-grade students 200 minutes of physical education instruction for every 10 days of class, as required in the state Education Code.

The teacher records could be compared to…

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Fear of Ebola Breeds a Terror of Physicians

Today’s post was shared by Gelman on Workplace Injuries and comes from www.nytimes.com

Healthcare professional face serious and fatal virus infections overseas. The conditions contrated within the course of thier employment may be deemed compensble under the Workers’ Compensation even though they extra-jurisdiction exposures. Today’s post is share from nytimes.com

Eight youths, some armed with slingshots and machetes, stood warily alongside a rutted dirt road at an opening in the high reeds, the path to the village of Kolo Bengou. The deadly Ebola virus is believed to have infected several people in the village, and the youths were blocking the path to prevent health workers from entering.

“We don’t want any visitors,” said their leader, Faya Iroundouno, 17, president of Kolo Bengou’s youth league. “We don’t want any contact with anyone.” The others nodded in agreement and fiddled with their slingshots.

Singling out the international aid group Doctors Without Borders, Mr. Iroundouno continued, “Wherever those people have passed, the communities have been hit by illness.”

Health workers here say they are now battling two enemies: the unprecedented Ebola epidemic, which has killed more than 660 people in four countries since it was first detected in March, and fear, which has produced growing hostility toward outside help. On Friday alone, health authorities in Guinea confirmed 14 new cases of the disease.

Workers and officials, blamed by panicked populations for spreading the virus, have been…

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Former Millville student contracted herpes after relationship with teacher, lawsuit states

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.nj.com

Michael S. Drebes 

MILLVILLE — A former high school student filed a lawsuit against the Millville Board of Education earlier this month for not properly supervising a teacher who conducted an inappropriate and illegal sexual relationship with her, according to the lawsuit.

Meagan Jones, 20, the former student, also named Michael S. Drebes, 42, her former math teacher that she was in a sexual relationship with, in the lawsuit for mental and physical injuries — including contracting herpes from Drebes.

In addition, the lawsuit, which was filed on July 3 with Cumberland County Superior Court, names former principal Albert B. Johnson and student assistance counsel Steven Megonigal as defendants.

She requests $450,000 in damages for "various and diverse physical and mental injuries," including anxiety and medical expenses in excess of $3,600, the lawsuit states.

Jones was 14 at the time and a ninth-grade student at Millville Memorial High School when Drebes began pursing a sexual relationship with her, according to the lawsuit.

The relationship lasted from February 2009 until shortly before his arrest in June 2009.

The Millville Board of Education, Johnson and Megonigal are named as defendants, according to the lawsuit, for negligence in hiring Drebes, failure to investigate the relationship, failure to supervise Drebes and failure to enforce written policies on electronic communication between teachers and students.

"I can’t comment on…

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Alabama man had penis mistakenly amputated during circumcision: lawsuit

Today’s post was shared by The Workers’ Injury Law & Advocacy Group and comes from www.nydailynews.com

The Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama was the scene of the alleged botched operation.
The Princeton Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama was the scene of the alleged botched operation.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama man who went into surgery for what was supposed to be a routine circumcision filed a lawsuit contending doctors mistakenly amputated his penis, but a hospital said Thursday the claims were without merit.

The lawsuit, filed in state court on Tuesday, says Johnny Lee Banks Jr. went to Princeton Baptist Medical Center last month for a circumcision that went horribly wrong.

Banks’ penis was gone when he awoke after surgery, according to the suit, yet no one ever warned that amputation could result from the procedure.

Banks and his wife, Zelda Banks, are seeking an unspecified amount of money in the complaint. The suit accuses the defendants of medical malpractice, negligence and other wrongdoing.

A statement released by hospital spokeswoman Kate Darden said the allegations lacked merit.

“We intend to defend all counts aggressively,” said the statement from Baptist Health System Inc., which operates the hospital in Birmingham. The hospital declined further comment.

The suit also names Urology Centers of Alabama and Dr. Vincent Michael Bivins, who works there; and Simon-Williamson Clinic and Dr. Alan C. Aikens, who works at the clinic.

Representatives from neither business nor the doctors returned messages seeking comment.

Bivins was treating Banks for conditions that led to the circumcision, the suit says, and Aikens was…

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