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    Explosion at GM Plant Kills One, Injures Five

    The July 2014 chemical explosion at a General Motors metal-stamping plant in Indiana that left a contractor dead and five people injured was another example of the devastation that can occur when people work in hazardous environments.

    The explosion involved a chlorine dioxide tank, which not only created the explosion, but also resulted in a dangerous spill after the initial event. Employees who came into contact with the chemical had to be rinsed off by firefighters, and were at risk for lung, eye, and skin problems.

    Five years prior to the explosion, that particular plant had been cited by the Indiana Department of labor for a single serious safety violation. The plant paid a fine of less than $1000 and was ordered to complete an abatement requirement. There had been no violations found since that incident.

    What Should I Do If I’m Injured on the Job?

    Unfortunately, explosions and other catastrophes are a risk for employees who work in hazardous work environments. But despite a person accepting a job knowing there is some risk involved, this does not mean that he or she should be put at greater risk by careless co-workers or negligent employers. There are protocols in place designed to keep hazardous work environments safe, but all too often we see emergencies occur because a policy was not followed or an employer put profits before its employees. People are injured everyday on the job, sometimes caused by exposure to chemicals or because of an explosion, and they deserve compensation.

    We have experience in both areas of law. We have successfully sued companies in industrial explosions and in residential explosions. Workers and their families may be entitled to more than worker’s compensation benefits, but they should immediately retain legal counsel to protect their rights. In this case, letters should go out immediately to OSHA, GM and all other interested parties, requesting preservation of all evidence (physical, paper, electronic). If evidence is not preserved, corporations and their insurance companies often invoke a “spoliation of evidence” defense to get out of paying benefits.

    GM and most major corporations have disaster teams of investigators and lawyers. They are immediately on the ground and involved in damage control for the company in these cases. No one is calling them “greedy” because they have lawyers and investigators immediately involved, so victims should not be concerned with being called “greedy” for immediately hiring lawyers and investigators. Don’t be intimidated into inaction when it comes to people who have harmed your family or friends.

    If you were injured in a workplace explosion or due to exposure to a dangerous chemical, we can help. Contact Heavens Law at 888.897.5377 for a free consultation.

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