As we have discussed previously, under almost all circumstances, Workers’ Compensation is the only legal remedy available to an injured worker against his or her employer. Earlier this month, we wrote about the availability of third-party claims when a person or company other than the employer contributed to the injury or death of a worker.
The injured worker may file a viable lawsuit against a third party in addition to a valid Workers’ Compensation claim. Any recovery in the third-party suit would be over and above Workers’ Compensation benefits received.
As we described in the previous post, it can be advantageous to file such a suit if the situation supports it because recovery for certain kinds of damages may be proper in the suit, but unavailable in Workers’ Compensation such as recovery for emotional distress, pain or damage to property.
Missouri Lawyers Weekly just published an informative article about this topic that discusses several types of third-party actions for work injuries that would also constitute viable third-party claims in Maryland under the proper circumstances.
Some of those examples:
- Product liability suits against manufacturers or sellers of dangerous or defective equipment like “industrial equipment, dollies, warehouse vehicles, mobile warehouse storage-shelving units, forklifts and scissor lifts …” that contributed to work injuries through malfunction, dangerous design or defective manufacturing or failure to warn of inherent dangers
- Personal injury lawsuits against other employers or contractors working on the same worksites like construction sites or “[l]arge industrial workplaces” when their negligence or recklessness contributed to work injuries of employees of other employers at the site
- Premises liability claims against negligent owners or controllers of property on which employees must go to do their jobs like those in delivery roles and where dangerous conditions like icy walks or wet floors contributed to work injury
- Product liability actions against vehicle manufacturers or sellers when work-related motor vehicle accidents (cars, vans, trucks and others) were caused by defective parts, design or equipment such as seat belts, tires, inadequate structural strength, seats and more
- And others
Our lawyers at Cohen, Snyder, Eisenberg & Katzenberg, P.A., regularly investigate work injuries of our Workers’ Compensation clients for potential responsibility of nonemployer third parties