23-year-old Matthew Webb was working at McDonald’s in Brooklyn when a customer complained her fries were too cold. While the details of how the argument escalated are still unclear, the woman seemed to have called her 20-year-old son, Michael Morgan, who shot Webb in the neck outside the restaurant.
Two days later, Webb succumbed to his injuries at a hospital, leaving behind his family.
Talking about how brutally his life was stolen, Webb’s family honored him with a balloon release outside the same restaurant a few days later. Needless to say, they’re devastated and going through one of the hardest times of their life. They’ve lost a very special part of their family—a hardworking and dedicated young man who worked two jobs to get through school.
While the shooter is in police custody and has been charged with attempted murder and weapon possession, Webb’s family can be entitled to workers’ compensation that they truly deserve.
But before we provide more insight into what Matthew Webb’s family can get under NY State’s Workers’ compensation death case, let’s address a common question people have about cases of workplace violence being covered under workers’ comp.
Typically workers’ compensation pays for the medical expenses and lost wages when an employee suffers work-related injuries.
However, in some cases, workers’ compensation may also cover damages caused by a worker’s job, such as injuries caused by workplace violence.
Webb was a victim of customer vs. employee violence where an unruly customer shot him in the neck due to a seemingly small argument that was blown out of proportion. In these cases, some form of compensation, called survivor benefits, is typically offered to the family.
However, one thing to consider here is that the case could go south if it’s proven that the victim started the fight or was provoked on purpose. Hence, when filing the death claim, the family of the victim and their attorney will need to provide evidence that the fight was unprovoked and that Webb was harmed intentionally.
Under the workers’ compensation laws in New York, the deceased employee’s dependents can file a claim to be reimbursed for memorial or funeral expenses. However, in King’s county, these expenses cannot exceed $12,500.
Hence, Webb’s family can claim memorial expenses of this limit in the city.
Dependents of the deceased worker can also be entitled to receive weekly cash benefits equal to two-thirds of the victim’s average weekly salary for 52 weeks before the accident.
However, the weekly compensation may not increase the weekly maximum limit established. The schedule of benefits is adjusted on July 1st of each year.
If there are no dependents of the victim (spouse or children) as defined by the law, the family of the deceased may be entitled to receive a payment of $50,000.
Webb’s family will have to file a death claim to receive survivor benefits.
Here are some steps to filing a death claim:
This form asks for some basic information about the victim and details of the incident. Some information about the employer and the claimant may also have to be provided.
Webb’s family will need to attach a medical report from the doctor who treated the deceased, the victim’s death certificate, and proof of relationship with the claimant such as birth, marriage, or adoption certificates and an itemized funeral bill.
Children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, or other dependents of the deceased, as outlined by the law, can fill out this form within 2 years of the worker’s death.
Supporting documents to be filed with this form include Affidavit for Death Benefits (Form-AFF-1), Proof of Death Provided by Physician Last in Attendance on Deceased (Form C-64), and Proof of Burial and Memorial Expenses by Undertaker (Form C-65).
The first of these can be filled by the victim’s dependents, while their physician is required to fill out the proof of death, and the funeral home files the proof of burial.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to someone else’s negligence on the job, we can help you out. At O’Connor Law, our experts go above and beyond to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
We listen to the details of each case intently to make sure nothing falls through the cracks. Our lawyers are experienced and qualified professionals ready to fight for your rights.
So if you have any questions or want a free case review, reach out to our friendly client support today. We’d be happy to help you out!