Visitor Question

Husband died in welding accident…

Submitted By: Bella (New York)

My husband was working at a sewage station where some of the tanks were in serious need of repair. The tank he was working in was to have new pipe and gas shut off valves installed because the current valves were not working. He was working for his company and as the other company puts it a shared employee with them.

My husband was a union employee, but worked his entire career of over 30 yrs with the same company who employed union plumber steam fitters. The other company that he was a shared employee of did not employ union workers.

On Sept 11 2013, my husband was working in extreme heat without an O2 reader. As a result, gas had filled the lines and when he lit the welder an explosion occurred. My husband managed, even without a ladder tall enough, to climb out of this fire.

He suffered 90 percent 3rd and 4th degree injuries. He passed away on Sept 14 2013. OSHA found numerous violations upon inspection. Each company was fined.

It is the year 2016 and it seems pretty obvious to me what happened. I have brought a legal case but it’s dragging on and taking forever. What’s going on? Why is it taking so long? Is there any way to speed things up? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Bella,

It is the policy here at not to interfere with the attorney-client relationship. To do so would be inappropriate.

In most cases, workers injured while performing their usual and customary work duties must seek compensation for their injuries, medical bills and lost wages from their employer. However, worker’s comp requirements may be circumvented when there’s evidence of employer gross negligence or reckless disregard for the safety of employees.

You mention the case has been going on since 2013. That’s not unusual for a wrongful death case. New York State has a three year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. Based on the facts you present, and the seriousness of the wrongful death claim, your attorneys have already filed a lawsuit.

Once the lawsuit was filed, the statute of limitations was “tolled.” This means the statute of limitations doesn’t apply to a lawsuit anymore. If this is the case, you don’t have to worry about the expiration of the statute of limitations. For all intents and purposes, when the lawsuit was filed, the statute of limitations for your case ceased to exist.

New York Statute of Limitations, Civil Practice Law and Rules, Section 214(5)

Wrongful death claims are complex and hard-fought by defendants. It’s possible the lawsuit may have been filed against your husband’s employer and the manufacturer of the gas shut-off valve. It can be presumed these businesses have substantial assets. Substantial assets usually means the businesses have access to a fleet of top-flight, experienced and aggressive attorneys.

You would be best served by contacting your attorneys and asking them to sit down with you to answer your questions. You can be quite sure the attorneys are doing everything possible to conclude the case as quickly as possible and for the maximum amount of compensation.

Learn more here: Wrongful Death Lawsuits

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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