Under the Massachusetts workers’ compensation act, if a person is injured at work he or she can seek workers’ compensation benefits. Even if a person recovers benefits, he or she is still permitted to file a third-party negligence claim against the individual that caused his or her harm, as illustrated in a recent case decided by a Massachusetts Appellate Court.
Additionally, the court explained that the Massachusetts workers’ compensation act prohibits an employer from retaliating against an employee for pursuing a tort claim. If you were harmed in a work-related injury, you should meet with a trusted Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney to evaluate your case and assess your avenues for seeking recovery of compensation.
Facts Regarding Plaintiff’s Employment
Reportedly, the plaintiff was hired by a temp agency to work at the defendant manufacturing facility. While working there, the plaintiff was injured when one of the defendant’s employee’s negligent operation of a forklift caused metal sheets to fall on her foot. The plaintiff filed a workers’ compensation claim with the temp agency and received benefits. She was then hired as a full-time employee by the defendant. The plaintiff subsequently filed a lawsuit against the defendant and its employee for the harm suffered in the accident, alleging theories of negligence and respondeat superior. The defendant then terminated the plaintiff, stating the lawsuit as the cause of her termination. The plaintiff amended her lawsuit to include a claim for retaliatory termination. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the case in its entirety which the trial court granted. The plaintiff appealed.