Hospital workers face a number of risks, including needle pricks and exposure to infection and disease. Though any worker may be entitled to compensation for an injury that occurs in the workplace, hospital workers may face additional dangers because of exposure to radiation. In a recent case, hospital workers are seeking compensation after radiation exposure they suffered because of faulty construction.
Workers’ compensation and work-related injury claims can be complicated. In some cases, workers may only be entitled to lost wages and medical costs; however, there are some instances where employees can pursue additional compensation. Our Greensboro workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced in handling complex claims on behalf of injured workers and their families.
In this case, a lawsuit blames a hospital for failing to install a protective wall to insulate against radiation exposure. According to the claim, four CT technologists filed a lawsuit claiming exposure to excess radiation over the course of years. The lawsuit alleges that construction crews installed the wrong glass in the rooms where they read scans, resulting in long-term exposure to radiation.
According to an attorney for the plaintiffs, the techs were exposed to 20 times the normal radiation while performing hundreds of scans every year. State law requires that the viewing window have the same radiation protection as the walls. For the construction in this hospital, this was not the case. The complaint states that the window separating the scanner room is supposed to be made of lead-shielded glass. When the hospital went to replace the CT scanner it found that the shield was made from regular glass.
Since the discovery that the wall was not made of protective glass, the hospital reported the Department of Health and recorded the risk as a construction error. Workers have since pursued medical treatment and their doctors reported that they have shown signs of radiation exposure. Radiation exposure can lead to disease, including cancer.
Workers who have suffered an injury on the job are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of fault or cause of the accident. Though workers do not have to prove that they were injured because of negligence, they also cannot sue employers for their injuries and, generally, are limited to medical compensation and lost wages. In some cases, employees can bring additional lawsuits against third-party individuals and entities responsible for their injuries. In this case, the lawsuit is targeted at the architectural firm and construction companies, not the hospital itself.
The construction company has acknowledged the claim but is refusing to provide additional comments on the injury and lawsuit. Since the claim was filed, more protective glass has been installed at the hospital but the workers are living in fear that the injuries may not appear for years or decades after the exposure.
Hospital workers who have been injured because of radiation exposure, improper protection gear, and other work-related injuries are entitled to compensation. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can help you seek appropriate medical treatment, document injuries, and effectively file for benefits.
If you or someone you love was injured on the job, contact the Lee Law Offices at 1-800-887-1965 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your right to benefits
More Blog Entries:
New Legislation Aims to Bolster OSHA Role in Worker Safety, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, May 25, 2013
National Emphasis Program Working to Protect Workers in Nursing and Residential Care Facilities, North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Lawyers Blog, June 17, 2012