Injured Entertainment Industry Workers Can Sue
Usually, workplace accidents are handled by workers’ compensation insurance. In some cases, however, a lawsuit can be filed against your employer or other parties. The cases below demonstrate that you can file suit, no matter how specific your employment.
Disney Mechanic Dies While Testing Ride
In 2011, a Walt Disney Parks and Resorts attractions mechanic was struck and killed while at work. The ride “Primeval Whirl” was being “wet tested,” which means spraying water on parts of the ride while parts like the brakes were inspected. For reasons unknown, the mechanic was in a dangerous area next to the tracks known as a “ride envelope,” a place in which he was not supposed to be. The workers knew that the ride envelope was a dangerous place to be; the mechanic had reason to think he was safe; and he had no idea that a cart was about to be sent down the track.
The deceased mechanic’s wife filed suit in Orange Circuit Court. However, the resort attempted to have the case dismissed, on the grounds that the mechanic was entitled to workers’ compensation. Typically, it is not possible to successfully file suit against your employer, even if you are injured during work. This is because the workers’ compensation system is supposed to provide just compensation. Sometimes, however, the system fails.
If the mechanic’s wife can prove that the resort knew that her husband was in a circumstance virtually certain to cause injury or death; if she can prove her husband should not have seen it; and if she can prove the employer concealed the danger, then she can proceed against the resort. Just this month, a circuit court judge affirmed plaintiffs’ rights by permitting the suit to continue forward to trial. A jury will be able to decide if the wife’s lawsuit proves these facts. Meanwhile, a subsequent OSHA investigation already slammed the resort with nearly $50,000.00 in fines.
Jockey Paralyzed by Steroid-Injected Horse
In another suit against an employer, a Miami Gardens exercise rider– which is similar to a jockey who rides the horses in preparation for races– was riding a two-year-old filly when it unexpectedly stumbled to the ground. The exercise rider was pinned to the dirt under the half-ton horse. Attendants trying to extricate the exercise rider discovered that the horse had suddenly died; paramedics discovered that the exercise rider had been immediately paralyzed from the neck down.
The exercise rider and his wife filed suit against the race course, the trainer, and the horse’s veterinarians. The filly, the suit alleges, should never have been available that day, as it had been seriously injured just over a week earlier. The horse had been limping ever since a recent race. Nevertheless, the track wanted to time her workout so that gamblers could judge their bets more accurately. In order to get the horse to run that day, the lawsuit alleges that the horse was improperly pumped full of steroids and painkillers.
The horse’s body was disposed of without any autopsy or even a death certificate. Fortunately for the exercise rider, however, the veterinarian’s use of steroids on the filly was well recorded. The suit threatens to provoke a serious and widespread issue in horse racing, which still does not have sufficient national drug and safety standards relative to horse steroids. The suit is nearing trial.
If you have been injured at work, contact Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Newmark today. You may have more options than you think.