Attorney Mark Obenshain,
Harrisonburg personal injury lawyer and founder of
Obenshain Law Group has settled a wrongful death claim for more than $700, 000 just over a
month ago.The story recently appeared in the August 2016 issue of
Virginia Lawyers Weekly.
The primary argument of the plaintiff’s claim was regarding an employee
who worked in a sheltered employment program. The employee was known to
have suffered from periodic seizures. The case attempted to determine
whether or not the typical rules regarding workers’ compensation
would have applied in the deceased’s case.
The Events Leading to the Incident
The 42-year-old man was working for NW Works Inc., located in Winchester.
The organization’s mission is to offer vocational training, outreach,
and resources to help adults with disabilities find jobs. NW Works Inc.
had implemented a policy for staff to contact 911 when a seizure lasts
more than five minutes and had prior knowledge that the deceased had a
history of seizures.
According to reports that Attorney Obenshain had obtained, there are conflicting
reports as to how long the seizure had lasted. What was certain that it
had lasted more than 15 minutes. One account from the agency reported
that a staff member had called 911 after about 17 minutes. Another report
found that staff did not call until after 25 minutes had passed.
Once the emergency medical team reached the man, it was concluded that
the man had suffered from his seizures for over 30 minutes. Although the
medical team had been able stop the man’s seizure, he fell into
a cardiac arrest. He passed away three days later.
Wrongful Death Claim & Settlement
The problem with the Workers’ Compensation laws in this case was
that if the rules had applied, the man’s family would only have
been able to collect enough to pay for funeral expenses and other transportation-related
costs. The compensation would not suffice to cover wrongful death. Mark
Obenshain and the legal team at Obenshain Law Group mediated the sheltered
workshop employee’s case, obtaining a settlement of $700, 000.
NW Works Inc. provided the family with a letter, in which they took responsibility
for the incident. They also informed the family that new policy changes
would be implemented at the agency to prevent any future accidents from
For more information about this case or if you would like to
schedule a free consultation with our attorney, contact Obenshain Law Group today.