Pennsylvania Supreme Court upholds a worker's death benefits

On Monday, Nov. 27, Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices denied the consumer products manufacturer Kimberly-Clark's request to appeal an award of death benefits to the widow of one of its former employees. The long-time plant employee had been forced to resign his role with the company back in 2005, some 32 years after starting working for them. Within months, he'd died of an aggressive form of bladder cancer.

During the earlier trial in which the worker's widow had been awarded the benefits, she had seemingly proven that the man had been exposed to toxic chemicals on the job while working as an electrician between 1973 and 2005. His widow had argued that the Chester, Pennsylvania, factory utilized the harmful chemicals in producing its products there.

In issuing their decision, the panel suggested that the widow had indeed met her obligation that required her to prove that both her husband's illness and his subsequent death arose from the exposure to the chemicals while at work. Proving this is required under Pennsylvania's Workers' Compensation Act, section 310.

The role of employers is to provide a reasonable safe workplace free of known hazards that can cause employee illness.

If you find yourself suffering from an illness that you believe might have been brought on because of your work environment, then you may entitled to compensation for medical bills, both present and future, in your case. In learning more about the circumstances surrounding the decline in your health, a Dauphin, Pennsylvania workplace illness attorney can advise you of your rights to file a claim in your case.

Source: Business Insurance, "Kimberly-Clark must pay death benefits to worker’s widow," Gloria Gonzalez, Nov. 29, 2017

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