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Virginia Injury Blog
Weakening of OSHA May Lead to More Personal Injury Lawsuits

My hometown motivates me to work hard for my client and get results.- John Cooper

Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers

Weakening of OSHA May Lead to More Personal Injury Lawsuits

The number of personal injury lawsuits brought in America could increase if President Donald Trump weakens the enforcement regime of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, experts predict.

The predictions of an increase in personal injury lawsuits came in an article by Business Insurance.

The article said many industry observers expect a likely possible consequence of the deregulating of OSHA would be a rise in private enforcement via personal injury lawsuits.

In a little-reported change this month, President Donald Trump signed a Congressional Review Act resolution to repeal OSHA’s so-called “Volks” rule. This conferred an obligation on employers to make and maintain accurate records of work-related injury and illness data. Further measures are expected.

Trump signed the measure (H.J. Res 83) into law April 4 after it passed through Congress. It nullifies a rule that gave OSHA the power to enforce recordkeeping requirements for five-and-a-half years instead of six months. Although employers will still have to maintain injury and illness records, OSHA’s enforcement role will be weakened, reported Safety and Health magazine.

weakening of OSHA may lead to more personal injury lawsuits

Jordan Barab, a former top OSHA official, criticized Trump’s decision on Twitter.

“Trump signs repeal of OSHA Volks Rule,” he tweeted. “More workers hurt, sickened and killed in the workplace.”

Although willful violations of health and safety rules given out by OSHA frequently trigger personal injury lawsuits, personal injury attorneys don’t have to wait for an OSHA violation to file a lawsuit against an employer.

If the OSHA regime is weakened, we may see more negligence on behalf of employers and more serious accidents and injuries in the workplace. The result will be more personal injury lawsuits. While injured workers can claim worker’s compensation, this no-fault system seldom covers all of their medical needs. When an employer is at fault for an injury, a personal injury lawsuit can be brought.

In Hampton Roads, we see some terrible injuries as well as deaths at work sites including accidents at shipyards, car repair facilities and on building sites. Safety standards are questionable at many of these locations. We are alarmed at any loosening of the regulations that will encourage employers to cut more corners.

Last year, we noted the 10 most dangerous jobs in America. Logging headed the list of jobs with the highest fatality rate. Fishermen, roofers and recycling workers were all in the top five.

Earlier this year, a worker was badly injured at Suffolk Recycling in Suffolk. At Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers, we help workers who are badly injured. I also represent railroad workers in lawsuits brought under the Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA). Please call us for a free consultation at (757) 455-0077.

John Cooper

 

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John Cooper

John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.

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Jim Hurley

Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.

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Bill O’mara

Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.

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