Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Pittsburgh psychiatric worker was killed on the job

The individual recently killed during the shootings at the University of Pittsburgh psychiatric clinic was a 25-year old group therapist. Though we don't often think of this type of incident as being a work related death, this individual's death did occur on the job and was the type of risk an employer such as a psychiatric unit assigns to its employees when it hires them on.

We've since learned that the 25-year old deceased worker was recently engaged to be married. In fact, it appears that he had an extensive relationship with family and friends in the area as he was a graduate from Greensburg Central Catholic High School. His parents are still dealing with the tragic death of the deceased worker's sister who was shot to death in 2008.

Sadly, worker-related deaths seldom happen in a vacuum. Many other individuals besides the worker that was killed will be affected by such a tragedy. Often such individuals are dependent upon that individual for their financial and emotional needs.

When it comes to a worker being killed, making sure that the family is taken care of is taken into account in the various workers' compensation laws that have been passed by the Pennsylvania legislature. The policy behind such laws is to make sure that individuals dependent upon that worker will not be put in a financial bind because of the unexpected loss of another family member. However, the laws are complex and that's why individuals dealing with such a loss would be strongly advised to speak with an attorney experienced in the workers' compensation area.

Employees lives are often put at risk in many types of occupations, and whatever the circumstances employers have a duty to implement measures that will reduce that risk as much as is possible. If a type of death or injury is foreseeable, employers should do all that they can to prevent that type of injury or death from occurring. They also have a duty to compensate loved ones and family members when a worker is injured or killed.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, "Western Psych worker killed in shooting spree was recently engaged," by Mike Wereschagin, March 9, 2012

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Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.
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Pittsburgh, PA 15222

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