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Oakland Personal Injury Lawyer / Blog / Personal Injury / Wife Sues After Husband is Injured on the Job at SpaceX

Wife Sues After Husband is Injured on the Job at SpaceX


The wife of a SpaceX worker has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Elon Musk’s SpaceX. According to the lawsuit, her husband’s skull was fractured during a 2022 rocket engine malfunction. According to Reuters, there have been 600 previously unreported injuries that have occurred at SpaceX including crushed limbs, amputations, electrocutions, head and eye injuries, and one death.

The lawsuit against SpaceX was filed in California. The wife alleges that SpaceX was negligent and this resulted in her husband’s head injury. He has been in a coma for over two years now. The worker was injured when part of the Raptor V2 engine broke away during pressure testing at the SpaceX facility located in Hawthorne, CA. The part struck the SpaceX technician’s head and fractured his skull, according to the lawsuit.

Former SpaceX employees have noted that the company has faced similar employee-related accidents and injuries in the past. They say this is an example of greater problems within the company.

Can I sue my employer in California?

Generally, no. Workplace injuries are covered under workers’ compensation law. If your employer has an active workers’ compensation policy, then you are generally unable to file a lawsuit for work injury against them. There are exceptions to this rule, however.

Workers’ compensation law makes it so employers are immune to personal injury lawsuits. You can, under workers’ comp, have your medical expenses and a portion of your wages paid for by the insurance policy that covers your company. Workers’ compensation is a no-fault system meaning it doesn’t matter if you were responsible for the injury or not. The trade-off is that employers are immune to personal injury lawsuits in most cases. Generally speaking, you can recover a greater amount of damages in a personal injury lawsuit than you can under workers’ compensation.

Exceptions to the workers’ compensation rule in California

There are some circumstances under which you can file a lawsuit in California over a work-related injury. These include:

  • Injuries from a third party – If your injuries were caused by another company or a third party, you can file a lawsuit against that party so long as it is not your employer. Examples of these lawsuits include product liability suits in which an employee was injured on the job by a dangerous or defective product.
  • Intentional conduct by your employer – Workers’ compensation only covers accidents. You can sue your employer if they intentionally try to injure you. For example, if your supervisor punched you in the face, you can file a lawsuit against the supervisor and the company that hired him.
  • No workers’ compensation insurance – Employers in California must carry workers’ compensation insurance. If they failed to pay for a policy and do not insure themselves, then you can file a personal injury lawsuit against your employer. However, California employers are required to maintain workers’ comp policies in most circumstances.
  • Independent contractors – If you’re considered a contractor (and not an employee) then you can file a lawsuit against the company that contracted you to do work. If you’re classified as an independent contractor, you won’t be able to file a claim on your employer’s workers’ compensation policy.

Talk to an Oakland, CA Personal Injury Attorney Today

Venardi Zurada represents the interests of individuals who have been injured due to another party’s negligence. Call our Oakland personal injury lawyers today to schedule a free consultation, and we can begin reviewing your case immediately.



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