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Family that Obtained Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Over 2005 Plum Island Construction Accident Wants Newburyport Wrongful Death and Injury Recovery

A Plum Island construction accident lawsuit seeking Newburyport wrongful death and injury damages has made it way to the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. At issue is whether the plaintiffs, who have already received Massachusetts workers’ compensation benefits, should also be able to collect civil damages.

Timothy Wentworth and his son Ezekiel Wentworth were involved in a serious Newburyport construction accident on August 2005 when, while spraying waterproofing material in a home, a pilot light went off, causing the water heater to burst into flames. The two men sustained serious burn injuries with Timothy, 51, dying and Ezekiel suffering disfigurement so serious that he has had to undergo several surgeries.

The Wentworths, who were a subcontractor on that construction job, did not carry workers’ compensation insurance. Following the Plum Island injury accident, Cheryl Wentworth filed a Massachusetts workers’ compensation claim with builder Henry C. Becker, who had hired the father and son. She also sued Becker for Plum Island wrongful death and her son’s personal injuries.

Under Massachusetts law, employers must make sure that its employees, and, in most instances, their subcontractors have workers’ compensation coverage. In her claim, Cheryl said that Becker let an insured subcontractor work. A settlement was reached between the two parties.

Becker contended that injured subcontractors cannot collect both Massachusetts injury damages and workers’ compensation benefits, and a Superior Court judge sided with him. An appeals court panel agreed with the Wentworths, whose lawyers said that the case Superior Court Judge Thomas R. Murtagh based his ruling on was flawed. The Wentworths say that since the father and son weren’t Becker’s employees, they don’t have to only receive either Massachusetts injury compensation or workers’ compensation benefits.

High Court to hear case of deadly PI accident, Newburyport News, April 5, 2011
Wentworth v. Henry C. Becker Custom Building Ltd., Masscases.com

Related Web Resources:
Workers’ Compensation, Mass.gov
Massachusetts Wrongful Death

More Blog Posts:
Department of Transportation Worker Falls Into Shaft in Ted Williams Tunnel in Boston, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, April 10, 2011
Massachusetts Contractor Fined for Safety Hazards at Hultman Aqueduct Project, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, April 10, 2011
Salem Construction Accident at Massachusetts Courthouse Last Summer Caused by Wrong Screw, Boston Injury Lawyer, January 19, 2011
This Massachusetts wrongful death and injury case is a prime example of why you should always explore your legal options, and our Boston injury lawyers are pleased to see that the case is still under consideration.

While many people would assume that they could only receive one or the other, and this is generally the case, there could be exceptions to the law. It is important that you receive all the recovery that you are owed.