People on the job in Florida have the right to expect a reasonably safe work environment. When employees face the potential of exposure to toxic substances, safety procedures should be known and proper training on these procedures should be mandated for employees who may come into contact with possibly dangerous substances. A person who becomes sick through exposure may have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim.
A lawsuit concerning a Florida man claims that he contracted a fatal illness as a direct result of work that he performed. He had been told to clean out a storage shed and move supplies that were stored there to a different location. The area to be cleaned out reportedly contained dust, dead birds, live bats and rodents. The man contracted cryptococcal meningitis and died. The suit brought by the man’s survivors asserts that the meningitis was contracted by coming into contact with bird feces and other toxic elements at the site.
The court rejected the claim, citing a Florida statute that states that not only must the affected employee prove exposure but must also prove exposure in the amount necessary to cause illness. This created a difficult situation as the toxic location no longer existed as it did at the time of the supposed exposure. Based on this, the court ruled that the deceased’s survivors were not eligible for compensation under workers’ compensation insurance.
People in Florida go to work every day and put in what they believe to be an honest day’s work. It is a tragedy when that work leads to death and a bigger tragedy when the survivors are unable to collect survivors’ benefits for the loss of a loved one. Faced with such a horrible reality, survivors may wish to seek the counsel of an attorney experienced in workers’ compensation law. A lawyer can review the facts of the case and advise the client as to what legal options may be available, including a potential appeal.