Sacramento, CA asked in Workers' Compensation, Employment Discrimination and Wrongful Death for California

Q: death at work- heatstroke- handled as workman's comp-denying designated beneficiary payment 10K- told ineligible.

Hottest day of the year 107 outside, corrugated warehouse line work-it had to be 147- the warehouse cooled by a single box fan, Ross, my deceased partner said- Supervisor admitted to me at the hospital they realized the heat danger and called unscheduled break for snow cones outside- Ross got to the window and went stiff-crashed into the truck counter, sustaining facial cuts and broken nose- CPR was performed by fellow employee, who admitted- "I could have used a refresher course". At hospital-supervisor told me I was beneficiary of policy. Ross never recovered, & declared BrainDead 4 days later- I was told 2 days after that "since he was not my sole support for the last year of his life- I was not entitled" to the money Aramark Linen had promised. (something to do with Ca. Workman's comp law.)- We're in litigation now- but I'd like some clarification. They wouldn't even provide me with a formal accident report.

2 Lawyer Answers

Ronald Mahurin

  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Point Arena, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: clarification of what? You say the deceased was your partner, but that may not qualify you for benefits. Hopefully your partner left something in writing saying that you are an heir. Otherwise, you may be forced to litigate the issue. Be advised that if there are no dependents entitled to payment, the Department of Industrial Relations receives the benefit.

Death benefits are payments to a spouse, children or other dependents if an employee dies from a work-related injury or illness. This includes reasonable burial expenses, not exceeding $5,000 for injuries before Jan. 1, 2013 and $10,000 for injures on or after Jan. 1, 2013. If you are not a dependent, you may not be entitled to death benefits if it can be proved that he death was industrial. Labor Code Section 4703 states if there is any person wholly dependent for support upon a deceased employee, that person shall receive a full death benefit.

William John Light agrees with this answer

William John Light

  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You: "We're in litigation now", which I assume means you have a lawyer.

Also you: asks random attorneys for advice on the internet.

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