U.S. Court Orders Investigation Into Milwaukee Industrial Accident Death
This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit (covering Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana) issued an opinion ordering Caterpillar, Inc. to allow a union investigator into its manufacturing plant in south Milwaukee WI to investigate a fatal industrial accident which occurred nearly four years ago. The opinion was authored by well-respected federal judge Richard Posner.
The accident which claimed the life of an area man in the Milwaukee WI industrial accident occurred when a crane operator was lying on the ground underneath a 36-ton “crawler”—the tracks used on mining bulldozers—trying to un-hook one of the chains attaching the heavy machinery to a crane. Unfortunately, the heavy crawler shifted unexpectedly, and crushed the worker underneath; he was pronounced dead as a result of his injuries.
After the accident, Caterpillar reported the industrial accident to local police and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Police, OSHA, and local union representatives sent investigators to look into the accident; however, the corporation would not allow representatives from the federal labor union associated with the worker to investigate the accident. The labor union initiated a lawsuit, which years later made it to the second-highest level of federal courts in the country (second only to the United States Supreme Court), which ultimately ruled against Caterpillar.
Although it is uncertain whether the case will be appealed further, Caterpillar says that it will comply with the court order for now and allow the investigation. It is unclear what, if anything, will be found as a result of the investigation, but any step taken which provides additional information into an industrial accident which took the life of a Milwaukee worker is a positive development. These accidents by definition occur behind closed doors, and it is important that families of those injured or killed are given the opportunity to learn what happened.
Milwaukee WI Workers’ Compensation / Work Accident Law Firm
The Milwaukee WI personal injury law firm of Gendlin, Liverman & Rymer proudly represents injured persons across Wisconsin and Ohio, whether they have been involved in a car wreck or industrial work accident. We have experience in both the personal injury and workers’ compensation systems, and care deeply about each one of our clients. To learn more about the services we offer to people like you, just call us at 1-877-CALL-GLR (1-877-225-5457) or fill out the online form on our contact page to schedule a free consultation at a place and time that is convenient for you.