An ammonia leak on June 20 at a poultry processing plant in North Carolina killed one worker and injured four others.
According to this article on Philly.com by the Associated Press, the leak occurred about 10 a.m. Saturday, June 20 at the Mountaire Farms plant in Robeson County, NC (about 16 miles south of Fayetteville).
The worker who died was identified as Clifton Swain, 47, of Fayetteville. Four other workers were taken to hospitals with injuries.
The County Emergency Management Director told The Fayetteville Observer that the leak has been contained.
The ammonia leak happened while workers were doing maintenance work on a piece of machinery at the plant and it has been ruled simply as a workplace accident.
The plant employs 2,500 people. About 30 to 40 people were at the plant when the leak occurred.
The workers from the Mountaire Farms plant who sustained any injuries and the family of the worker who died because of the leak are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits through the employer. These benefits often are inadequate and may not be enough to cover a worker and his family, especially if the incident involves serious injuries that could keep the worker away from his/her job for a long time. It may be in the worker’s best interest, however, to also contact an experienced worker’s compensation attorney who can carefully examine the incident to identify any negligence or wrongdoing.
An experienced attorney would also look into a “third party claim.” These are claims that are filed against parties that are not the worker’s employer. It could be a contractor, a sub-contractor, or even the manufacturer of a defective product. If it is determined that one of those parties was responsible for the accident and any injuries, then they could be held liable.