Michael F. Easley, Governor
Buck Lattimore, Chairman

Bernadine S. Ballance, Commissioner
Thomas J. Bolch, Commissioner
Laura K. Mavretic, Commissioner
Renée C. Riggsbee, Commissioner
Christopher Scott, Commissioner
Dianne C. Sellers, Commissioner

North Carolina
Industrial Commission




TO:         All Interested Parties

FROM:   Chairman Buck Lattimore

DATE:    January 30, 2003

RE:         West Pharmaceutical Co.—Kinston, NC Plant Explosion

At this time of tragedy our thoughts and prayers are with the employees and families of West Pharmaceutical Co. in Kinston, North Carolina.

Zurich Insurance Company, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier for West Pharmaceutical Co., contacted the Industrial Commission within three hours of the plant explosion to assure us that they were taking all necessary steps to provide timely benefits to all injured employees. The insurer is providing us with continual status updates.

Zurich has sent a special team of claims representatives to Kinston, North Carolina to assist employees and families with application for workers’ compensation benefits and has established a toll-free hotline for claims reporting. In addition, Zurich has dispatched medical personnel to all healthcare facilities providing treatment for injured employees to oversee their care.

Please be assured that the North Carolina Industrial Commission will assist all parties in efforts to expedite the processing of these claims. Any immediate questions regarding individual claims should be directed to Brenda Foster at Zurich who may be reached by calling (800) 808-6412.

For additional information or questions regarding the North Carolina workers’ compensation system, please call the NCIC Ombudsman section at (800) 688-8349.

N.C. Industrial Commission · 4319 Mail Service Center · Raleigh, NC 27699-4319
Phone:  (919) 807-2500 · Fax:  (919) 715-0282
Internet Address:  http://www.comp.state.nc.us/