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Attorney Brett Busch Secures Major Victory for Oil-Field Worker's Widow
Busch Law Offices is proud to announce that Attorney Brett Busch has secured a victory for his client in a landmark workers' comp case. For the death of her husband, an oil-field worker, Connie Freemyer will now receive lifelong benefits as part of her husband's workers' comp benefits.
As The Wall Street Journal reports, Jim Freemyer was a worker for Now or Never Trucking who, in 2014, had just started doing oil rounds for the company as an oil-tank gauger. He was found unconscious and hanging over a tank hatch in Weld County, where he had breathed in deadly fumes— called hydrocarbons—released from the oil storage.
Mr. Freemyer isn't the first oil worker to die from hydrocarbons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have identified multiple deaths due to these fumes. However, insurers have again and again determined "natural causes" to be the cause of these deaths, barring surviving loved ones from receiving workers' comp benefits. In Mr. Freemyer's case, insurers claimed that his history of diabetes and heart disease caused his death.
A review of the facts, however, yielded a different determination. Under the skilled navigation of Attorney Busch, Connie Freemyer's suit carefully detailed the circumstances of her husband's death and the documented evidence of hydrocarbon danger associated with his position. The judge was also presented an instance in which Mr. Freemyer was disoriented by fumes a month prior to his death, but was then given the wrong type of gas mask by a superior.
In the decision, Mrs. Freemyer will receive around $530 a week for the rest of her life for her husband's death. Pinnacol Assurance, Now or Never Trucking's workers' compensation provider, claimed they will not be seeking an appeal.
Raising Awareness for Oil-Worker Safety
Hyrdocarbon risks have been a danger to oil workers for some time and Mrs. Freemyer's victory is already being hailed as yet another pivot point for industry-wide awareness and reform. After conducting testing, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration had issued alerts and safety guidelines to companies employing workers at risk, but—as Now or Never Trucking demonstrated—employers have been slow to comply.
Many are hoping now that Mrs. Freemyer's case will further highlight the need for added safety precautions for oil-tank gaugers dealing with hydrocarbon exposure. A spokesperson for Pinnacol told the WSJ: "This was a very complex case. We take worker safety very seriously and we want to do what we can to minimize the potential for future such accidents."
We congratulate Attorney Brett Busch on his incredible victory on behalf of his client. Not only has his diligent, compassionate work brought much-deserved relief to Mrs. Freemyer, but also prompted further considerations to better ensure oil worker safety.
If you have a workers' comp claim that has been denied, then we invite you to contact Busch Law Offices today. Our experienced and knowledgeable legal team of Loveland workers' comp attorneys have more than 30 years of experience in advocating for injured workers. Our results-driven approach means that we will pursue every avenue available to ensure that you receive the relief you deserve.
Put your workers' comp case in trusted hands. Contact our firm today.