Flower Mound Construction Worker Electrocuted
By Rachel E. Montes posted in Construction Accidents on Thursday, June 4, 2009
A construction worker was electrocuted today (June 5, 2009) after getting tangled in power lines while working on a new hospital in Flower Mound. The injured worker was transported by Careflite to Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Details of his condition are not known. Meanwhile, utility crews are working to restore power to the area, which was knocked out at the time of the accident.
This incident highlights the dangers that so many Texas workers, especially construction workers, face while on the job. In particular, workers in the construction industry have been put at an even greater risk because of the decision of the Texas Supreme Court in Entergy Gulf States vs. John Summers. In the Entergy case, John Summers was injured on the job for International Maintenance Corp., a contractor that Entergy hired to perform work at Entergy’s Sabine Station plant. As you would expect, Mr. Summers made a worker’s compensation claim with his employer. Employers who purchase workers compensation insurance cannot be sued by their employees when they are injured on the job unless the injury results in the employee’s death and unless the employer was grossly negligent.
In addition, Mr. Summers sued Entergy for its negligence. Entergy claimed it could not be sued because it authorized the contractor to do the work and therefore Entergy was claiming it was the “general contractor” for the job. The Texas Supreme Court, in a very controversial ruling once again ruled in favor of big business and the interests of the insurance company. The Texas Supreme Court overturned the appellate court ruling which said that a plain reading of the law allowed Mr. Summers to sue Entergy for its negligence. The Texas Supreme Court without an explanation ruled that even if Entergy was negligent, Mr. Summers was not entitled to sue Entergy because Entergy – the “premises owner” – also qualified as a “general contractor” and hence was immune from the injury suits even though Entergy did not have a contract designating itself as the general contractor and even though Entergy had not paid for any of the worker’s compensation insurance and certainly did not advise Mr. Summers that he was considered and employee of Entergy and covered under its worker’s compensation insurance.
This ruling and the Texas Supreme Court has come under sharp attack for the implications that this decision has on thousands of Texas workers and businesses. Even the Texas Association of Defense Counsel (a group of attorneys that primarily represent insurance companies) filed a brief with the Court claiming that the Court’s decision is wrong and should be changed because “expanding the definition of ‘general contractor’ as the Court did completely disrupts the complex scheme of how employers are defined under the Texas Workers Compensation Act and that the decision could plague the Texas Workers Compensation Act for decades and endanger worker safety.
It was hoped that the Texas legislature would be able to cure this problem, despite a strong push by Democratic legislators to fix the law, the movement fell just a couple of votes short.
Grapevine, Texas: Primrose Daycare Worker Charged with Indecency With a Minor
By Rachel E. Montes posted on Thursday, June 4, 2009
Vincent Woods, a daycare worker at the Grapevine Primrose Day Care facility located near Highway 121 and Hall Johnson Road has been charged has been charged with indeceny with a child and is now out of jail on bond awaiting trial. If convicted, Woods could face up to 20 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. The Primrose School has suspended Vincent Woods.
At Montes Law Group, P.C we fully understand that parents place a high level of trust in day care centers to protect their children because we are parents. We have lived and worked in the Grapevine area for years and understand that even in a community that you think is safe, there is seemingly always someone out there harming children. That is why Texas has enacted laws that to protect children and to ensure that day care facilities are operated in a manner that reduces the risk that children will be victimized. These laws require that day care centers must be properly licensed, staffed and operated in a safe manner. In addition, day care facilities have a duty to conduct an investigation into the background of workers to make sure that they do not pose a risk of harm to the children. If you are concerned that your child has been physically or sexually assaulted by a day care worker or seriously injured while at a day care facility, you need to take immediate action to protect your child.
Report the incident to the police immediately. Then, contact Rachel Montes to investigate a premises liability claim and to help protect your child.