Franklin Pound—an employee of Pipeline Systems, Inc.—was busy working on a new pipe installation at the Sewickley Borough’s sewage treatment plant in July 2010 when tragedy struck. One of his coworkers fell into a concrete pit. Pound and others rushed to help.
Pound climbed down into the pit along with the plant manager and an inspector. They attempted to rescue the fallen coworker, but unfortunately the man did not survive. While exiting the pit, Pound passed out and fell approximately 20 feet from a ladder. Methane gas had accumulated in the pit and caused Pound to pass out while climbing out. He sustained injuries to his left leg, knee, foot, back, ribs and lungs.
Pound’s worries did not end there. When he filed for workers’ compensation due to his injuries, Pipeline Systems, Inc. along with Continental Western Insurance Co. denied his claim.
Pound took the matter to court where a workers’ compensation judge ruled that Pound was entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Pipeline Systems, Inc. made several appeals, but both the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Appeals Court and a Commonwealth Court upheld the lower court’s ruling.
Another appeal filed in March 2016 sent the issue to Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court to verify once again whether or not Pound is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The argument against Pound is that he was not performing work-related duties when the injury occurred.
A rescue attempt at work should not be a reason to deny workers’ compensation to an employee. When someone has sustained a work-related injury and is unable to work, his or her life is often turned upside down. This is no time for an employer to turn its back on an employee.
The attorneys at The Babcock Law Firm are proud to defend employees’ rights to workers’ compensation. If you’ve been a victim of a work-related injury, we’re here to help. Talk with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney today to help you get the compensation you deserve.
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