The Amarillo Court of appeals previously upheld a $5.2 million judgement secured by an injured worker against an employer that chose against obtaining workers’ compensation insurance.

Charles Robison was a truck driver for West Star Transportation, Inc.  He was attempting to tarp an unusually tall load, without adequate tools or protection, when he fell sustaining catastrophic traumatic injuries.  Because his employer refused to secure workers’ compensation insurance to cover employees, Robison brought a negligence lawsuit for his damages at law.

After a jury trial, verdict was rendered in his favor and judgement was entered in the amount of $5,298,590.78.   West Star appealed and alleged that the evidence did not support the verdict.  On January 23, 2015, the Seventh Court of Appeals in Amarillo, traditionally known as a conservative court, found in favor of the injured worker.

The Court affirmed that an employer must use ordinary care in providing a safe work place.  The employer must warn the employee of safety hazards that are not commonly known or appreciated.  Additionally, the employer must provide needed safety equipment, suitable appliances, and sufficient assistance so the employee may carry out his or her assigned duties with reasonable safety.  Failure to do these things may result in a negligence lawsuit when an employer elects against workers’ compensation insurance coverage. Because West Star violated these duties to this injured worker, the Court affirmed the judgement.

Please call Mayfield Law Office, if you or a loved one have been injured while working.