Intel Settles Lawsuit After Contractor Is Killed
Intel recently settled a lawsuit related to the 2017 death of a contractor who was crushed inside of a large machine that he was servicing. According to the lawsuit, another employee turned on the machine while the worker was inside.
The contractor was performing routine maintenance at an Intel factory when the incident occurred. The colleague who turned the machine on while the contractor was still inside said that the deceased worker said that he was going to die twice before he actually died. Intel’s emergency responders took nearly 16 minutes to reach the injured contractor.
Injuries from computer factories are not uncommon. Typically, the industry uses noxious chemicals to fabricate computer parts. When a worker is injured at a computer factory, it’s generally due to toxic exposure. In this case, however, the incident was related to the mechanical failure of a machine the workers were supposed to be fixing and Intel’s failure to respond to the accident in time.
In this case, the worker was an employee of a contracting company that Intel hired to service their machines. A second employer, Intel, is also involved in the situation. OSHA entered the fray to give their opinion on the issue and determined that it was the employee’s own company that contributed to the negligence. The company was fined for failing to thoroughly train employees. A “hazard letter” was sent to Intel for failing to have a rigorous system in place for dealing with workplace accidents.
In this case, the contractor’s own employer is shielded from lawsuits due to workers’ compensation and the exclusive remedy. That left the family with only one possible defendant to target: Intel. Intel settled the lawsuit for an undisclosed amount of money. The terms of the settlement are now sealed. Intel announced that they had fired the subcontracting company after one of their workers died. Intel announced shortly after the investigation that they fired the contractor after it became apparent that the incident was not related to a tool malfunction but to operator error. Clearly, the machine should not have been turned on while another worker was doing maintenance on it.
The contractor would be required to pay death benefits to the family vis a vis their workers’ compensation policy. However, they could not be sued directly even though OSHA found them to be negligent. Intel was accused of failing to have a system in place to deal with workplace accidents but was not found liable for the accident itself. The argument is that the worker could have been saved if Intel had a better system in place for accessing injured personnel.
Talk to a Decatur, GA Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you’ve been injured in a workplace accident, you are entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits and may be entitled to file a lawsuit as well. Call the Decatur workers’ compensation attorneys at O’Connell Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.