Man Crushed to Death in Compactor at N.J. Salvage Yard

By Greg Kohn

What remedies might the decedents estate have against the employer?

Workplace accidents take the lives of close to 100 New Jersey residents each year and injure far more. If you know someone who has been injured or killed in a workplace accident, you know first hand the devastation these accidents cause.

A 22-year old Freehold resident was crushed to death at a salvage yard in East Brunswick.  The victim, Alvaro Esteban, was an employee of a company called Universal Processing, LLC. The company does business at Atlantic Sales & Salvage where Esteban died.

At this time, the cause of the accident is unknown and an investigation is ongoing. A spokesperson from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that the facility has no history of accidents or safety violations.

Who is Responsible?

Tragic workplace accidents like these can leave families and friends in a state of shock, as they are left to pick up the pieces of their lives and figure out what went wrong. Many families of loved ones killed in workplace accidents seek the advice of wrongful death attorneys to determine what, if anything can be done to make sure those responsible are held accountable.

In the case of Atlantic Sales & Salvage, simply because they have no reported OSHA violations does not mean that they were not at fault in some way. Only a thorough investigation into the facts of the accident will be able to show whether Atlantic bears some responsibility for Esteban’s death.

Are There Remedies Available to the Estate?

There are a couple of routes that Esteban’s estate could take in response to this accident. They could either proceed with a civil action against those that may be responsible for Esteban’s death, or they may seek death benefits through Workers’ Compensation Insurance.

New Jersey provides no-fault death benefits to dependents of workers who have died in a workplace accident, through Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If Esteban has dependents, they will be entitled to 70% of Esteban’s weekly wage. The workers’ compensation insurance carrier is also required to pay up to $3,500 in funeral expenses.

The one caveat with Workers’ Compensation Insurance is that the estate may not engage in a civil action against the employer if they receive these benefits. This is where it truly helps to have an experienced wrongful death attorney on your side. They have the experience and resources to investigate the accident fully, gather the facts and determine what your best course of action may be.

Has Your Family Been Affected by a Workplace Accident?

The New Jersey law firm of Nagel Rice, LLP can help you determine whether your loved one has died due to someone’s negligent or intentional conduct. They have recovered millions on behalf of their clients whose family members were victims of workplace accidents. If someone you know or a loved one has been the victim of a wrongful death accident, please contact the New Jersey law firm of Nagel Rice, LLP or call 973-618-0400.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.