Myocardial Infarctions (Heart Attacks) In the Workplace: QR Obtains Benefits for Widow and Disabled Child

On a really cold day in January, our 54 year old Marcellus Shale fresh water truck driver, Carl, picked up his vehicle at his work site in Clymer, Indiana County, and drove to a nearby creek to load up.

Two hours later, Carl was found lying, face down, beside his truck. Dead. The 10 foot long hoses he was using were strewn along the ground from the back of the truck down the snow covered hillside, extending into the creek. The autopsy confirmed that Carl died from a heart attack.

You would assume that his Indiana County employer and its Workers' Compensation insurance company agreed to pay his widow and their disabled daughter weekly benefits.

You would assume that they agreed that his myocardial infarction was work related.

Well, neither his employer nor the insurance company agreed to pay Carl's widow. They denied the claim.

Vince Quatrini, the principal attorney on the claim, undertook a two year battle to obtain benefits for our widow and adult disabled daughter through the Indiana County Workers' Compensation hearing office.

Part of our job was to gather all the medical records over the last five years of Carl's life, all the records surrounding that fatal day, and submit those records, along with photos of the work site, confirmation of the cold temperature, and the autopsy report, to a highly qualified forensic pathologist.

The good news: We were successful! We obtained a very significant lump sum award for our widow and daughter. And, we purchased an annuity (periodic monthly payments paid out over a number of years) with most of the monies so that we could provide for long-term financial protection for our widow and daughter.

What did it take? Vince used his many years of experience to identify the right expert. He subpoenaed the job description to show the weights of the hoses - the weather report to substantiate the freezing temperature (cold weather causes the arteries to contract) - Carl's old PCP records to show he was not treating for heart problems.

With this thorough homework, and Vince's extensive knowledge of Pennsylvania's law of death cases, Vince put together a very persuasive case which the insurance company conceded and settled the claim.

We can help you, or your loved ones, when tragedy strikes. We have been doing it for 30 years at the law firm of Quatrinini Rafferty. If you are not sure if you have a claim, call us for a free consultation. (888) 288-9748

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