Emergency Response & Crisis Management
Regardless of a company's vigilance, there is always the potential for a crisis situation. Our Emergency Response and Crisis Management Team at Roetzel provides comprehensive services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our geographic scope spans Ohio and into surrounding states that include Kentucky, Indiana, West Virginia, Michigan and Tennessee.
Our Emergency Response Team has the experience and relationships necessary to marshal the appropriate resources and maximize the success of the overall emergency response effort.
Whether the circumstance involves a significant accident, fire, explosion, or chemical release, the first hours after such an event are critical from a liability management standpoint. We work with our clients at every step to address the issues that may arise as a result of industrial accidents, personal injuries or other catastrophes.
We recognize that proper crisis management often requires the involvement of specialized legal counsel trained in several different disciplines. Our emergency response service is designed as a cradle-to-grave program and is divided into four main areas:
- OSHA / Workers' Compensation
- Risk Management / Trucking
When additional counseling or consulting services are required, our Emergency Response Team has the experience and relationships necessary to marshal the appropriate resources and maximize the success of the overall emergency response effort.
Having handled numerous emergency response incidents for our clients, our Emergency Response Team has developed highly effective strategies for addressing the vast array of issues that often arise. Whether we are called upon to implement an emergency response protocol, address regulatory agencies, interface with the media, or provide advice in anticipation of litigation, we have the technical and legal resources necessary to help our clients tailor their response actions to the given emergency situation.
- Coordinate onsite investigations involving catastrophic transportation-related accidents and assisted transportation clients with analysis of liability, damage and criminal issues including coordination of experts and follow-up investigations
- Coordinated numerous emergency response incidents for six of the largest public transportation companies in Ohio, involving both vehicular and accidents at terminals
- Assisted a major petroleum company with an emergency response effort associated with an incident that occurred at a petroleum products refinery in Ohio
- Served as Ohio coordinating counsel for several of the largest trucking companies in the U.S. including coordination of their emergency response protocol in Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania
- Assisted a large industrial client with an emergency response effort associated with a chemical release from a tank at its facility and defended the resulting lawsuits
- Assisted a telecommunications company with an emergency response effort associated with a fatality that occurred when an employee erecting a cellular phone tower fell to his death; we represented the company through the OSHA investigation and subsequent lawsuit brought by the decedent's family, and minimized the client's liability exposure and worked cooperatively with OSHA to resolve the investigation, without a finding of fault or a statutory violation on behalf of the company
- Assisted a public utility with an OSHA investigation resulting from an electrocution fatality; we minimized the company's liability exposure by ensuring that the OSHA investigation did not result in any serious or willful violations, and entered into a settlement agreement with OSHA that prevented disclosure of its terms and admissibility in subsequent legal proceedings
- Defended a roofing company before OSHA in a fall-protection case where the company allegedly failed to provide or require the use of fall protection; we successfully defended all citations based upon a claim of employee misconduct with no adverse findings or penalties being assessed
- Represented a public utility to determine if the company was liable when a child was electrocuted inside its facility; we conducted an on-site investigation on the date of the accident, coordinated the emergency response protocol for the public utility, gathered evidence pertaining to the plaintiff, and conducted immediate research concerning the company's liability under the attractive nuisance doctrine
- Coordinated an emergency response protocol regarding a catastrophic accident that occurred in Pennsylvania; the plaintiff filed a lawsuit in Ohio, which provided a better forum for his damage claims, and the case was moved to federal court, where a motion to dismiss was granted for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and the action was dismissed
- Assisted numerous small, medium and large corporations with on-site OSHA investigations and dealings with other federal and state agencies investigating workplace compliance issues and safety issues
- Coordinated the emergency response for a nationally-known trucking company arising out of an underride accident; this included accident reconstruction and criminal investigation and handled the civil litigation
- Coordinated more than a dozen emergency responses for several large public transit authorities, involving significant personal injury and property damages following the release of natural gas from a transit bus
- Worked with an international explosives company in an emergency response relative to a massive explosion involving the transportation of explosive materials to a hazardous waste incinerator
- Coordinated an emergency response to a catastrophic trucking accident involving four deaths and three catastrophic injuries, including reconstruction of the accident, defended the criminal matter against the driver, and handled the litigation that arose following the accident
- Represented a nationally known retailer concerning an accident involving damages to an individual working on the premises jointly maintained by the retailer and mall; we conducted an investigation and determined our client was not liable as a result of current case law
What We Do
- Conduct privileged investigations to document the scene and preserve evidence
- Manage and customize follow-up investigations
- Act as spokesperson for the client to deal with the media or regulatory agencies
- Evaluate potential administrative, civil or criminal liability issues
- Identify additional counseling or consulting services that may be needed
- Counsel clients on proactive emergency response preparedness and prevention strategies