Workers Comp Zone


A federal government website on product safety has gone live:

The site, sponsored by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, may be useful to many workers.

Concerned about the safety of that tool you are using at work? Dependent on that device that a co-worker is using? Suspicious that the product being used may have been subject to safety recall?

The site may help you seek out useful information.

And over time it may help ferret out products that are poorly made or poorly designed.

In California workers’ comp is generally an “exclusive remedy”. With a few extremely limited exceptions, an employee can not sue his employer, even if the employer was negligent.

But where there is a “third party”, i.e. someone other than the employer who causes or contributes to the injury, the worker may be able to sue that “third party”.

At Boxer & Gerson LLP our civil trial lawyers John Anton and Gary Roth have often filed “third party” cases where a defectively designed or manufactured product caused an injury. These cases range from automobile product defect cases to various types of machinery defects to construction equipment defects.

Sometimes overlooked by workers’ comp attorneys who are not attuned to identifying products liability cases, these claims can in some circumstances bring financial recoveries that far exceed workers’ comp benefits. In California a worker can pursue a workers’ comp case and a civil tort case against the designer, manufacturer, seller and distributor of defective products. gives individuals a tool to report product safety concerns as well as a source of information on product safety.

It’s a good example of “smart regulation” which can help protect workers and consumers.

Yet, as noted in a recent L.A. Times article by David Lazarus, “Product-Safety Database a Hard Fought Victory for Consumers”, this site has been fought tooth and nail by Congressional Republicans and business interests: … gle+Reader

Like battles surrounding funding for OSHA, there are business interests that would like to eviscerate regulations and consumer protections.

The irony of it all is that sites like this may eventually help prevent accidents in the first place, saving employers from unnecessary workers’ comp costs.

Stay tuned.

Julius Young

Category: Political developments