A weak economy In Connecticut as in Many other places has generated an increasing number of temporary work positions as companies are reluctant to hire permanent full time workers. This is not just a payroll issue but also one of oversight and management. In factories, warehouses and construction sites where many of these temps wind up laboring there is often a lack of training, supervision and accountability for the safety of those so employed. When a temporary worker is injured there is of course a workers compensation remedy available but the company for whom they were toiling is simply free to hire another temp and ask that the injured temp not return at all. To balance those inequitable scales and also to make up for the harm caused by shoddy or sometimes non existent safety practices the injured temporary employee should consider the initiation of a traditional tort action sounding in negligence which may in such circumstances be asserted against the company on whose job site they were injured. This remedy is one that would not generally be available to a direct employee due to the existence of a workers compensation exclusivity bar to bringing such actions which is legislated into the law in our State as well as many other Sister States.
In Connecticut and throughout the Northeast Automobile accident statistics confirm that fewer people lost their lives last from automobile roadway and highway accidents. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, Secretary Ray LaHood, “the number and rate of traffic fatalities in 2010 fell to the lowest levels since 1949, despite a significant increase in the number of miles Americans drove during the year.” Secreatry Hood also stated that “Still, too many of our friends and neighbors are killed in preventable roadway tragedies every day. We will continue doing everything possible to make cars safer, increase seat belt use, put a stop to drunk driving and distracted driving and encourage drivers to put safety first.”
The immediate goal of initiating a lawsuit where governmental or Industry standards have been deviated from is obviously to compensate the unfortunate victims injured as a result. What may not be so obvious, however, is that in addition to providing remedies to those who have been injured, the evolving body of standards and practices recognized by governmental bodies and industry standards setting organizations benefits society as a whole, in that litigation premised on these principles often serves as a vital force for change, resulting in safer products, improved warnings, better regulation of work sites , and greater public awareness of the hazards. Over the last fifty years litigation involving these principles has caused significant changes in the way manufacturers do business and in the way businesses run their companies and regulate the safety of their own work environments. In the process, these changes have saved lives here in the United States and abroad, and prevented countless injuries.