Leonard Harders, a 56-year-old postal service mechanic in San Diego, was killed on-the-job after he was run over by a mail truck he was trying to fix. According to the 10 News report for San Diego, Harders was working on the Isuzu delivery vehicle in the 13500 block of Evening Creek Drive North on March 4, 2009 when the truck began to roll way. Harders tried to jump inside the truck to stop it, but slipped and fell. He ended up underneath the vehicle, which ran over him, San Diego Police Department officials said. Harders was pronounced dead at the scene.
What a tragic accident! I offer my deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Leonard Harders. Here was a man who was just trying to do his job. Please keep the Harders family in your prayers.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor Web site, there were 754,958 employees who worked for the U.S. Postal Service in 2007. During that year USPS reported 50,271 on-the-job injuries out of which nine were fatalities. About 16,800 cases involved injuries where workers had to take time off work.
Based on this news report, Leonard Harders was working at the time of this fatal accident. So his family will be entitled to workers compensation benefits from his employer. It may be in the family’s best interest, however, to also contact an experienced California workers compensation and on-the-job injury attorney, who will carefully examine the incident to identify any negligence or wrongdoing.
In most California workers compensation cases, we observe that the workers’ families do not receive adequate compensation for the income they lose when their sole breadwinner dies. Workers compensation benefits alone are woefully inadequate to compensate families for loss of wages let alone the loss of a loved one and a primary wage earner. A skilled personal injury lawyer will be able to look into whether there are any “third-party claims” in such cases. A third party could include a party or entity other than an employer, such as a contractor, sub-contractor or the manufacturer of a defective or dangerous product.
In this San Diego on-the-job injury case, I would look into whether the parking brake failed or was defective in the Isuzu mail truck. It seems to me that Harders did not expect that brake to fail and was killed when he tried to get the situation under control. If it is determined that a defective auto product caused this accident and Harders’ fatal injuries, then the auto maker could be held liable. If I were representing the family, I would want that Isuzu mail van preserved in its current condition so I can have one of our experts examine it for mechanical malfunctions, product defects and other evidence.