The Law and Occupational Injury, Disease and Death

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With more than 11,000 deaths and over two million injuries and diseases attributed to workplace-related hazards each year, the prevention of injuries, death, and disease in the workplace has been of increasing concern to lawyers, labor unions, government officials, insurance companies, and legal scholars. In this volume, noted legal specialist Warren Freedman presents both a comprehensive exposition of common workplace hazards and a detailed survey of the applicable statutes, case law, and court decisions that have developed in this growing field of litigation and regulation. The author treats in depth key issues such as how to identify specific exposures in the workplace, the problem of drug testing, the roles of involved parties, and theories of liability. Practicing attorneys, government policy-makers, and union executives will find this an indispensable resource when dealing with the complexities that surround claims and regulation in this area. Following an introductory overview, Freedman examines the recognition of workplace-caused disability, the payment of benefits, and the rehabilitation experience. He then turns to a discussion of specific exposures encountered in the workplace including cancer risks, chemicals, acid rain and other pollutants, radiation, smoking, repetitive trauma, and others. Alcoholism and drugs in the workplace receive extended coverage in two chapters that address central questions such as product liability and alcoholism, pinpointing criminal responsibility, and the constitutionality of drug testing. Turning to an examination of the individuals involved in occupational injury, disease, or death suits, Freedman explores the roles of the plaintiff-claimant and his or her family, the defendant employer, and third parties who may become part of a court action--the government, product manufacturers, technical experts, OSHA, insurance companies, and others. Subsequent chapters discuss theories of liability and remedies, defense of employees' claims, procedural aspects of litigation, and the effects of particular cases and statutes.