A rather large injured workers’ compensation dispute is underway on the federal level resulting from a project down the road from us: the Savannah River Site (SRS). The SRS is a nuclear reservation located in parts of Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell counties in South Carolina, along the banks of the Savannah River. The site is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy and operated by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions LLC.
In 2012, the U.S. Government admitted that workers at the site were exposed to nuclear material that could make them sick. People who had worked at the site prior to 1972 and their families were deemed eligible for up to $400,000 in compensation. (This is in addition to benefits that may be available through South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Laws). Now, a federal advisory board is making the case that the same federal benefits should be extended to workers at the SRS who were there after 1972.
Attorneys of former workers who are sick claim that even after 1972, SRS employees were exposed to toxic levels of thorium, a radioactive metal that has been shown to cause cancer, and thus they should also be eligible for federal benefits. Some workers have died while waiting on the documents needed to prove the case, as the case has been under review for over a decade.
The Savannah River Site’s ex-employees’ ongoing legal battle is a striking example of why it’s important to hire legal help when fighting for federal benefits and South Carolina workers’ compensation benefits. Even in a case where the workers’ health issues seem clearly to blame on their workplace environment, sophisticated defense lawyer teams are making it hard for honest workers to receive fair compensation.
If you’ve been injured or made sick at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation (review our Frequently Asked Questions about Workers’ Compensation to learn more). The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Hodge & Langley Law Firm offer a free consultation to speak with you about your case.
To learn more about the Savannah River Site’s ongoing legal battle, read The State’s latest article.
To speak with a workers’ compensation attorney, contact the Hodge & Langley Law Firm.