Most workers in the United States would say they are overworked, underpaid, and are suffering from too much stress due to a variety of issues. In addition, the food we eat is overly processed and we drink sugar-loaded caffeinated drinks as if they were water. All of these things contribute to health problems most working adults endure including obesity, high blood pressure, insomnia, migraines, and stress-related illnesses.
In Florida, compensation to employees for on-the-job accidents is regulated by a series of statutes, known collectively as the Workers’ Compensation Law (“WCL”). (Fla. Stat., § 440.01, et seq.) The WCL provides the sole remedy for an injured employee to recover for the harm caused to him or her by the negligence of others while performing their duties. (Fla. Stat., § 440.11(1); see generally Bakerman v. The Bombay Co., Inc., 961 So.2d 259 (Fla. 2007).). In exchange for this streamlined guarantee of compensation, employers are provided with immunity from civil suit by the employee, unless one of two exceptions are met: (1) the employer has failed to secure workers’ compensation coverage for its employees; or (2) the employer causes the employee’s injury through an intentional tort. (Fla. Stat., § 440.11(1)(a)-(b).).
Workers’ compensation is a widely utilized form of insurance in the United States for employees injured during the course of their employment. Although most of the public is familiar with the general principles of workers’ compensation, the inner workings of its concepts are complex and require specialized knowledge to fully comprehend.
Nevada was one of the earliest states to adopt a set of industrial insurance laws, which included regulations governing a workers’ compensation program. Since 1913, Nevada has provided its citizens with workers’ compensation benefits. In the last 100 years, the state’s workers’ compensation laws have been in flux and have constantly changed. Because of this, courts are constantly called upon to decide matters regarding benefits for individuals injured on the job.
An individual is injured on the job and accepts workers’ compensation benefits. After accepting the benefits, the worker cannot sue the employer, but may sue others responsible for the injuries. In the lawsuit involving the third parties, fault is apportioned to the employer. Since Arizona law grants the employer’s insurance carrier a lien against any recovery by the worker, can the worker obtain a judicial determination of whether the carrier’s lien should be reduced to account for the employer’s comparative fault?
Until now, labor contractors bore the burden of liability for proper payment of wages and securing workers’ compensation for the workers they supply to a business. However, California’s recent passage of Assembly Bill 1897 changes these burdens by the creation of a new law, Labor Code section 2810.3, which becomes effective on January 1, 2015.
An aggressive approach to discovery can combat an unfounded civil lawsuit cloaked in an exception to workers’ compensation exclusivity. The defendant can serve extensive written discovery, including requests for admissions, targeting the basis for specific allegations of willful act and/or intoxication. Declarations and testimony from the plaintiff and other co-workers may be essential in defeating the exclusion.