West Virginia workers, and the families they leave at home everyday, are entitled to the expectation of a workplace that is safe and as free from injury as possible. Whether in a factory, strip mine, underground mine, quarry, school, hospital or office, employers who flout safety can and should be held accountable for their actions. West Virginia law specifically provides:
(2) The immunity from suit provided under this section and under W. Va. Code § 23-2-6 and § 23-2-6a, may be lost only if the employer or person against whom liability is asserted acted with “deliberate intention”. This requirement may be satisfied only if:
(i) It is proved that the employer or person against whom liability is asserted acted with a consciously, subjectively and deliberately formed intention to produce the specific result of injury or death to an employee. This standard requires a showing of an actual, specific intent and may not be satisfied by allegation or proof of: (A) Conduct which produces a result that was not specifically intended; (B) conduct which constitutes negligence, no matter how gross or aggravated; or (C) willful, wanton or reckless misconduct; or
(ii) The trier of fact determines, either through specific findings of fact made by the court in a trial without a jury, or through special interrogatories to the jury in a jury trial, that all of the following facts are proven:
(A) That a specific unsafe working condition existed in the workplace which presented a high degree of risk and a strong probability of serious injury or death;
(B) That the employer, prior to the injury, had actual knowledge of the existence of the specific unsafe working condition and of the high degree of risk and the strong probability of serious injury or death presented by the specific unsafe working condition;
(C) That the specific unsafe working condition was a violation of a state or federal safety statute, rule or regulation, whether cited or not, or of a commonly accepted and well-known safety standard within the industry or business of the employer, as demonstrated by competent evidence of written standards or guidelines which reflect a consensus safety standard in the industry or business, which statute, rule, regulation or standard was specifically applicable to the particular work and working condition involved, as contrasted with a statute, rule, regulation or standard generally requiring safe workplaces, equipment or working conditions;
(D) That notwithstanding the existence of the facts set forth in subparagraphs (A) through (C), inclusive, of this paragraph, the employer nevertheless intentionally thereafter exposed an employee to the specific unsafe working condition; and
(E) That the employee exposed suffered serious compensable injury or compensable death as defined in W. Va. Code§ 23-4-1 whether a claim for benefits under this chapter is filed or not as a direct and proximate result of the specific unsafe working condition.
Source: W. Va. Code § 23-4-2
If you, or a loved one, has suffered a serious injury on the job due to violations of safety practices at work, contact our lawyers. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have and work hard to protect your interests.