ConAgra Explosion Back in the North Carolina Workers’ Compensation News

May 3, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

On June 9, 2009, an explosion at a ConAgra facility in Garner, NC killed four workers and hurt dozens of others, prompting a North Carolina workers’ compensation legal brouhaha that continues to this day. The latest twist involves a lawsuit against the town of Garner itself.

Twenty employees of the Slim Jim plant have sued the town for failing to vet companies like Mid-South Industrial Refrigeration Incorporated, which did not have licenses or permits to install the natural gas line that ultimately caused the deadly explosion.

Garner town officials, including Mayor Ronnie Williams and town Manager Hardin Watkins, have been tight lipped about the matter, since the Garner town attorney has yet to review the lawsuit. Garner has suffered a series of blows in the wake of the Slim Jim explosion. Nearly half of the plant’s workforce lost their jobs in September, 2009. In March 2010, the remaining ConAgra workers were given pink slips as well after ConAgra made the decision to move the entire operation to Troy, Ohio.

This North Carolina workers’ compensation matter seems to be growing in complexity on a monthly basis. Many manufacturing, design, and installation companies have been named as defendants, and ConAgra has already paid out over $100,000 to the North Carolina Department of Labor for violating Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) regulations. Another company, Energy Systems Analysts, has been cited for over two dozen OSHA offenses and fined nearly $60,000. Company officials allegedly oversaw the installation of the natural gas line that exploded on June 9th. Mayor Williams issued a statement that no one on the town council knew that town investigators were at the facility the day the explosion took place.

Timely and Effective Help with North Carolina Workers’ Compensation Matters

If you or a loved one has been injured while working in the state, either in a catastrophic or a chronic accident, consult with a reliable and results-proven North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyer. Get good answers to the questions that keep you up at night about how to file for benefits, collect them in a timely manner and deal with issues pertaining to your employer and/or insurance company.

More Web Resources:

Lawsuit against Garner, NC

Mid-South Industrial Refrigeration


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