Obenshain Law Group Settles Wrongful Death Suit for $700, 000

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 occurring.

For more information about this case or if you would like to schedule a free consultation with our attorney, contact Obenshain Law Group today.

Categories: Firm News