Firm obtains favorable workers’ compensation decision for victim of ConAgra plant explosion

The North Carolina Industrial Commission has ruled in favor of  a worker injured in the June 9, 2009 explosion at the ConAgra Slim Jim plant in Garner, North Carolina. The worker, represented by Leto Copeley, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, and his doctors say he is better and can now return to full time employment. However, they testified that he could not return to work for ConAgra, and should not, for the time being, work in large industrial buildings or around large groups of people. ConAgra denied the claims of all workers who were not physically injured  but who suffered psychological trauma from seeing their co-workers fatally burned or severely injured in the explosion and fire, so the plaintiff was forced to pursue his claim in the Industrial Commission. In the decision, Thomas v. ConAgra and Sedgwick, Case No. W3870, the Industrial Commission held that the plaintiff is entitled to payment of partial benefits for all weeks in which he remains unable to perform his previous work, and further, that in calculating the amount of benefits he is owed, the employer must disregard the amount of money the plaintiff  continues to earn from an extra part-time job that he held before the explosion.

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