The two key components of the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act) are the protections it offers employers who suffer injuries while working and the prohibitions against those same employees seeking damages in tort actions against their employers. The courts broadly construe the exclusivity provision of the Act and will dismiss any claim that runs afoul of the provision, as shown in a recent Massachusetts case. If you sustained losses due to a workplace injury, it is in your best interest to consult a Massachusetts workers’ compensation lawyer about your options for seeking redress.
Facts and Procedure of the Case
It is alleged that the plaintiff worked for the defendant at its car dealership. The plaintiff, who worked as a salesperson, suffered injuries when his immediate supervisor assaulted him. He subsequently filed a lawsuit against his supervisor and the defendant, seeking compensation for his harm. As to the defendant, he asserted it was vicariously liable for the acts of the supervisor; he set forth negligent hiring and supervision claims against the defendant as well. Following discovery, the defendant moved for dismissal of the plaintiff’s claims on the grounds that they were barred by the exclusivity provision of the Act. The trial court granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.
Claims Barred by the Workers’ Compensation Act
The exclusivity provision is both broadly construed and the keystone of the Act. The court explained that the legislature has had ample chances to narrow the scope of the provision over the years but has declined to do so. Continue reading →