Aaron Dineen, 22, an Orange County worker, was killed after he suffered serious personal injury when he touched a live wire while working on a power pole in San Clemente, California. Dineen was electrocuted near El Camino Real and Avenida Valencia, according to a news report in The Orange County Register. Dineen, a contractor for a utility company, was pronounced dead shortly after the accident the afternoon of September 22, 2009. When emergency personnel arrived on scene, a witness was already performing CPR on Dineen. Paramedics were able to get an abnormal heart beat from Dineen, but they could not feel his pulse.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of young Aaron Dineen. All he was doing was his job. Tragic! I offer my heartfelt condolences to everyone who knew and loved Dineen. They will certainly be in my prayers.
California Industrial Accidents
According to the California Department of Occupational Safety and Health, 453 people were killed in various industrial accidents in California in 2005, including electrocution and burns. Electrocution on the job could occur due to many reasons including violation or failure to follow OSHA regulations; lack of protective equipment; lack of warning devices, faulty wiring, electrical overloads, exposure to power lines or sagging power lines.
I trust officials are investigating why and how this tragic California job accident occurred. And I sincerely hope Dineen’s family will get some answers. Based on this news report, it seems that Dineen was doing contract work for a utility company. In my experience working on a line crew for Southern California Edison (when I was attending college nights before I was drafted into the military), it would be unusual for a “contractor crew” to work on live power lines.
Things have changed apparently in the last 41 years. However, the question here is: What went wrong? Did Dineen believe that the lines were not “live?” Was there a communication error and if so, was this death the fault of someone else or was it the fault of the deceased worker? There are of course many other possibilities. But one thing is for certain. Someone messed up big time and it cost this 22-year-old man his life.
Dineen’s family will likely get some compensation through California worker’s compensation benefits. But as injury lawyers, we know that those benefits are hardly enough to cover the significant expenses that follow a worker’s serious injury or death.
Third Party Claims
That’s why it would be a good idea for injured workers and their families to consider filing a “third-party claim,” which are usually filed against parties other than the employer in a workplace accident. A third party can be a contractor, sub-contractor or even the manufacturer of a defective product that caused the worker’s serious injuries. Such compensation can include medical expenses, loss of earnings and even cost of long-term care. Workers compensation usually does not even cover a fraction of the expenses these workers and their families face after an accident.
Dineen’s family would be well-advised to contact an experienced Orange County personal injury lawyer who will protect their interests and fight for their rights. The utility company Dineen worked for probably has its lawyers and insurance people already working this case. Dineen’s family needs a skilled personal injury attorney on their side protecting their interests and fighting for their rights. The best California personal injury attorneys will offer a free and comprehensive initial consultation