Lieberman, Ryan & Forrest, L.L.C.
Somerset County
Hunterdon County

Workers' compensation: Toxic fumes kill restaurant manager

The list of chemicals used in the hospitality industry in New Jersey and across the country is endless. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration prescribes strict safety standards and guidelines for the labeling, storage and usage of hazardous chemicals. However, workers' compensation records show that preventable accidents continue to cause injuries and even fatalities.

A recent incident in the kitchen of a Buffalo Wild Wings in another state claimed the life of the restaurant manager and sent several employees and patrons to the hospital. Reportedly, the manager, while mopping the floor, poured two different types of chemicals on the floor. It appears that he was unaware of the dangers of mixing an acid-based product with chlorine bleach.

The chemical reaction caused toxic fumes that overwhelmed the manager as he tried to mop it out of the building. First responders arrived and rushed him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead later. Reportedly, some of the diners and staff members were also transported to the hospital when they experienced burning eyes and respiratory problems.

Following this man's tragic death, his surviving family members now have to deal with the emotional and financial consequences. Fortunately, the workers' compensation insurance program is there to provide financial assistance. In New Jersey, surviving family members of such tragedies can utilize the skills of an attorney with experience in helping families navigate death benefits claims to cover the costs of end-of-life arrangements. The benefits typically also include a financial package to make up for lost wages.

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