Could an Employer Be Liable for Damage Caused by a Drunk Employee?

Photo of a construction worker injured at work

Two years ago, a 49-year-old Newark woman was working at a marine terminal in Elizabeth when she was unexpectedly hit by a top loader.  After the collision, people on the scene rushed to her aid but  she did not survive.  Now, almost two years later, this case might be drawing to a close.

Why Was a Drunk Employee Operating Heavy Equipment?

The driver of the top loader appeared in court on July 19th where he pleaded guilty to the charge of second-degree vehicular manslaughter. According to authorities, the 50-year-old went to lunch on the day of the accident and consumed several alcoholic beverages. They claim his blood alcohol level was over the 0.08 legal limit, and yet he still got behind the wheel of the top loader.

This man now faces up to four years in state prison, with a chance of parole after the first 85 percent of his term is served, but what about the family of the woman who lost her life? No details are currently available on what the victim’s family did after this tragedy, but they definitely had options.

Here in New Jersey, employers are supposed to cover the cost of any injury sustained by a worker while on the job. Some businesses choose to handle this through workers compensation insurance, while others handle it privately. However, if the case is serious enough, disability payments and even wrongful death compensation may be required.

Often, acquiring an attorney is one of the best decisions a person can make when dealing with a workplace injury or wrongful death case. An attorney can help the families of victims understand their options, and it can also help them receive a fair settlement.



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