In exchange for the right to recover worker’s compensation benefits, the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) generally precludes employees from pursuing civil claims for bodily harm against their employers. They can pursue claims against other parties that contributed to or caused their injuries, however. As with any civil claim, if a plaintiff seeking damages against a third party following a workplace accident cannot establish liability, their claim will be dismissed. Recently, a Massachusetts court discussed what evidence is needed to prove a vessel is liable to an injured longshore worker in a matter in which it ultimately dismissed the plaintiff’s claims. If you suffered injuries at work, you might be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits and other damages, and it is smart to talk to a Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer experienced at handling complicated cases to discuss your rights.
The Procedural History of the Case
It is reported that the plaintiff was working as a stevedore for a fishing company when she suffered injuries unloading boxes from the defendant’s ship. She subsequently filed a negligence claim against the defendant seeking damages for his losses. The defendant filed a third-party complaint against the fishing company, alleging that it negligently hired and trained the plaintiff. The fishing company moved for summary judgment on the grounds that the Act precluded the imposition of liability against it for the plaintiff’s harm. The defendant then moved for summary judgment on the plaintiff’s claims. The court ultimately granted the defendant’s motion and dismissed the fishing company’s motion as moot.
Third-Party Liability for Work Accidents
The court noted that as the plaintiff alleged a negligence claim against the defendant, she was required to show, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the defendant owed her a duty, a breach of that duty, injury sustained by the plaintiff, and a causal link between the defendant’s acts and her injury. Continue reading →