$1.1M workers' compensation settlement reached after respirator failure leads to victim's diminished capacity

Aug 11, 2015, 09:00 ET from Howell and Christmas

RIDGELAND, S.C., Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Gary Christmas of the highly regarded Howell and Christmas law firm recently obtained a $1.1 million settlement on behalf of a victim after showing the respirator equipment he was assigned failed to function properly not only exposing him to toxic paint fumes, but also causing loss of oxygen to his brain.

The claimant, a painter, was working on the interior of an industrial tank. His co-workers were alerted that something was wrong when they hadn't heard the noise from the spray gun after a period of time. They found the victim, trapped in his harness, and unconscious. Though they tried to provide assistance, their rescue attempts failed and they called 911. It took more than one hour for first responders to rescue the claimant.

It was a hard-won battle as the employer in this case denied having insurance coverage, claimed the victim was not injured in this accident, but suggested non-work-related, pre-existing conditions were the contributing factors (WCC File No. 1302188).

"We are very pleased with the result that we were able to obtain for the injured worker in this case," says Gary Christmas.  

Expert opinions from a neurologist, neuro-psychologist, industrial hygienist, and toxicologist all corroborate the severity of the claimant's injuries, including memory loss, loss of concentration, and loss of the ability to speak.

"Under South Carolina workers' compensation law there is a cap on the amount of damages that can be recovered by someone injured on the job," according to Christmas. This case settled for $1,178,878 with $178,878 placed in a Medicare Set-Aside Account for the victim's future medical expenses and treatment.

"Any result our law firm may achieve on behalf of one client in one case does not necessarily indicate similar results can be obtained for other clients in other cases," Christmas affirms. "In this case, however, we are confident that we were able to get the lion's share of compensation available to our client."

Howell & Christmas, LLC

Gary Christmas

250 Mathis Ferry Road, Suite 102

Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464


SOURCE Howell and Christmas