Court Discusses Evidence of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Personal Injury Matters

The Workers’ Compensation Act is the sole remedy for Massachusetts employees who sustain harm at work. In other words, they cannot pursue civil claims for damages against their employers for harm that they suffered at work. They can seek compensation from other parties that caused or contributed to their harm, however. In such instances, the parties will often disagree as to whether any workers’ compensation claim arising out of the same incident as the lawsuit is relevant. This was the case in a recent Massachusetts personal injury matter in which the court permitted the plaintiff to preclude information regarding his workers’ compensation claim. If you were hurt at work, you could be owed benefits from your employer and damages from other parties, and it is in your best interest to speak to a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney about your options.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the plaintiff sustained injuries in a slip and fall accident that occurred in the parking lot of his employer. He subsequently filed a workers’ compensation claim and was awarded benefits. At the same time, he filed a civil lawsuit against the defendant, asserting that the defendant’s failure to properly clear the ice and snow on the parking lot caused his accident and subsequent harm. The parties in the civil case conducted discovery, during which the plaintiff produced his workers’ compensation records. Prior to trial, the parties filed numerous motions in limine in which they asked the court to determine what evidence could be used at trial; two of the motions pertained to the plaintiff’s workers’ compensation records.

Evidence of Workers’ Compensation Claims in Personal Injury Matters

The court first dealt with the plaintiff’s motion in which he requested a ruling that prohibited the introduction of evidence relating to his receipt of workers’ compensation benefits, noting that the defendant did not file a response to the motion. Thus, the court granted it as unopposed. The plaintiff also asked the court to prohibit the plaintiff from introducing any evidence related to other harm he suffered at work or workers’ compensation claims he filed following other work accidents on the grounds that it was prejudicial and irrelevant.

The plaintiff elaborated that no other injuries or workers’ compensation claims had been a part of the subject litigation, and no expert had offered any testimony regarding how any other injuries related to his most recent harm. The court ultimately granted the motion in part, ruling that the plaintiff’s other workers’ compensation claims could not be introduced, but evidence of other injuries could be.

Talk to a Skilled Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

People who are hurt at work cannot pursue civil claims against their employers, but they may be able to assert them against other parties. If you sustained injuries in the workplace, you might be owed benefits, and you should contact an attorney to discuss your rights. James K. Meehan of the Law Office of James K. Meehan is a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer who is adept at helping injured workers seek justice, and if you hire him, he will advocate zealously on your behalf. You can reach him by calling 508-822-6600 or using the online form to set up a meeting.