According to a recent report by the Jacksonville Daily News, a North Carolina man died after suffering injuries sustained in a cotton gin accident. Reports indicate that Dennis Foy was rushed to the hospital after suffering severe injuries to his face and hands after driving a forklift in the Jones Cotton Gin warehouse. Officials are not sure what happened or how Foy died. Foy was found on the ground with a bunch of very large cotton bales strewn around him. The North Carolina Department of Labor is investigating the incident and will not release any findings until it has first issued citations, which will only occur if there has been a violation of a labor regulation.
Officials are especially tight-lipped about the status of things due to the ongoing investigation. If any health and safety violations are found, the company and its insurance company could be held liable for Foy’s death. Foy’s next of kin may then be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against his former employer. North Carolina’s wrongful death statute allows the next of kin to sue in place of the victim. To be successful in a wrongful death suit, the plaintiff has to establish the prima facie case for negligence and also demonstrate that he or she is the legal beneficiary entitled to share in the victim’s recovery. After liability is established, damages are specified by statute. Under North Carolina’s Wrongful Death Act, the plaintiff is entitled to the following damages:
1. Expenses for care, treatment and hospitalization incident to the injury resulting in death;
2. Compensation for pain and suffering of the decedent;
3. The reasonable funeral expenses of the decedent;
4. The present monetary value of the decedent to the persons entitled to receive the damages recovered, including but not limited to compensation for the loss of the reasonably expected: a.) Net income of the decedent; b.) Services, protection, care and assistance of the decedent, whether voluntary or obligatory, to the persons entitled to the damages recovered; c.) Society, companionship, comfort, guidance, kindly offices and advice of the decedent to the persons entitled to the damages recovered;
5. Such punitive damages as the decedent could have recovered pursuant to Chapter 1D of the General Statutes had he survived, and punitive damages for wrongfully causing the death of the decedent through malice or willful or wanton conduct, as defined in G.S. 1D;
6. Nominal damages when the jury so finds.
In a wrongful death claim the legal beneficiary, usually the next of kin, stands in the place of the victim and sues for the injuries the victim suffered had he or she survived the injuries. Charlotte personal injury attorneys are experienced in such suits. If you or someone you know has been injured, it is important that you contact the skilled Charlotte personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith PLLC. Our attorneys will do everything they can to make sure that you are compensated for your loss. Please do not hesitate to call (704) 370-2828 for a free consultation today.