The exclusive remedy provision of workers’ compensation law in most states provides that employers – and those standing in the place of employers (i.e., employees, certain contractors etc.) – are shielded from civil liability for work-related injuries. Instead, workers are extended no-fault insurance through their employer’s workers’ compensation program.
However, there are still cases in which injured workers – or family members of those killed – may pursue third-party liability of others besides the employer who may have been negligent in causing the accident.
This was the type of case in Hanco Corporation v. Goldman, after a horrific work site accident killed three, including plaintiff’s husband. The three workers were buried alive underneath dirt and clay at an industrial park while installing a sewer line. Decedent was 55 years-old. The other two men killed were ages 30 and 19. Co-workers tried desperately to dig the victims out with their own hands, but they couldn’t get them out in time.