Contractor Allegedly Refuses to Pay Benefits to Family of Deceased SK Battery Plant Worker
COMMERCE, GEORGIA - A news story on fox5atlanta.com reports that a fatal fall accident at the SK Battery plant in November last year has become a legal battle.* The worker tragically fell to his death last November, and the contractor is allegedly blaming the SK worker for the fall. The contractor is allegedly refusing to pay benefits to the SK worker's family.
MMR Constructors, a Louisiana-based subcontractor, was contracted to help build the $2.6 billion Jackson County battery plant. MMR was in charge of performing some of the electrical work. The company allegedly had a previous fall incident. This SK worker was hospitalized after falling through a ceiling back in September 2020.
According to the news report, workers who were working for other subcontractors had previously filed complaints with OSHA asserting various safety violations. Then the fall incidents began to happen. In October 2020, another SK worker fell and was saved by his safety harness.
In this cases, the workers' compensation benefits would usually pay $675 a week until the worker's child turns 18 or 21 if the child attends college. However, MMR has decided to fight the claim, arguing that the state of "Georgia doesn't recognize common law marriage, and since he didn't tie off his harness, the accident was worker's fault."
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated the fatal fall accident and concluded that MMR had committed "serious" fall protection and other violations. OSHA issued a fine of $27,306. Two months before the worker's tragic death, one safety officer for a different subcontractor warned OSHA that the workers were "exposed to fall hazards… mainly work being performed above various areas of ceiling grid not designed to be walked on."
The victim's widow filed a lawsuit accusing SK of committing several safety violations, including "failing to create and/or enforce safety rules and guidelines."
Accident News is a safety and education initiative from Montlick & Associates, designed to help people better understand and thereby avoid common accident causes. To learn more about our injury prevention programs, please visit iridesafe.com. We hope you are never in an accident, but if you or a family member are injured, call Montlick & Associates 24/7 for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333) or use our live chat at Montlick.com.