Appeals Court says worker can file suit after work-related injury

On Behalf of | Jul 14, 2020 | Workplace Accidents

Workers who are injured on the job in Massachusetts will be worried about the future. In addition to missed time on the job, there may be medical expenses and long-term damage. For many, the law could be a hindrance that needs to be addressed. Such was the case for a Connecticut resident who was injured on a job in Massachusetts and faced a problem regarding the disparity between the states with the statute of limitations.

A Massachusetts Appeals Court decided that the worker can file a lawsuit for his workplace injuries even though the two-year statute of limitations in Connecticut had expired. Massachusetts grants workers three years to file. This overrules a lower court’s ruling that the Connecticut law be used. The company overseeing the project is based in Rhode Island. The injured man’s company was contracted to work on a high school in Massachusetts.

Falls are a common cause for serious injuries during construction work and this accident occurred when the man was on a platform and wore a retractable lifeline. The lifeline failed and the man fell 18 stories. The lifeline was manufactured and provided by a company based in Germany and marketed by a company in Arizona. It was given to the worker by the companies working on the school construction project.

Connecticut law says that employees who are hurt on the job and receive workers’ compensation can file a lawsuit if there is legal liability for entities other than the employer. After paying workers’ compensation, the company can sue third parties for mistakes and negligence. With the Connecticut laws being used to allow these legal filings, the defendants said the statute of limitations for that state should also be followed, therefore eliminating the right to sue because the time had elapsed. The Appeals Court disagreed, saying that Massachusetts law applies because the work was being done there.

Because many companies use contractors from a variety of different areas – even other states – this case may be important to those who were injured and are facing resistance in maximizing their compensation. Often, workers’ compensation cases and personal injury claims after work injuries can hinge on legal interpretations. Whether it is a workers’ compensation claim, a third-party case or any other legal filing related to workplace accidents, it is important to have legal advice for the claim itself and to understand the applicable laws. A legal professional experienced in work injuries should be contacted for a consultation to prepare for any eventuality and move forward with a case.


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