ABC 7 News reveals that a cellphone user took a dramatic video of a construction site accident in San Jose, California, and that this video was sent anonymously to Santa Clara county officials in an effort to expose work site dangers. The video shows an explosion occurring at San Jose's Santa Clara Valley Medical Center that injured a worker. The explosion occurred a little over a year ago when the general contractor and a subcontractor were adding a new section of steam pipe to provide heating to one of the new hospital buildings. A worker for the subcontractor was climbing out of an underground vault as the steam pipe exploded. Fortunately, co-workers were able to rapidly pull the worker out of the vault, saving him from suffering serious injuries and burns.
Workers' compensation carriers in California routinely deny necessary treatment to injured workers to avoid paying on claims. However, this shortsightedness often leads to greater payments and higher costs for the system. The following is an actual example from a case Butler Viadro provided representation. A California peace officer sustained an on the job injury to her back which ultimately required surgery. As part of the surgery, this injured worker had a catheter inserted into her urinary tract/urethra. Following the surgery, she developed a urinary tract infection, and her surgeon prescribed antibiotics. The workers' compensation carrier refused to authorize the antibiotics stating the infection was not related to her back injury.
My father was an attorney. As a child, I noticed that he represented people when they were injured. Many of the early cases he worked on involved a drug called Thalidomide. This was a drug which was given to pregnant women to prevent or reduce morning sickness. However, it turned out that it caused birth defects which often included major limb deformities. I met many of these children while I was young and was moved by their plight. I remember thinking that helping them and their families was important and noble work.