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COVID-Can I Sue My Employer For COVID?

| Mar 9, 2021 | Covid-19, Workers' Compensation, Workers' Compensation - News

The short answer is “No”.  Lawsuits by workers against employers are pre-empted by workers’ compensation law.  A worker, unlike a customer or a visitor to a business place is barred by the “Exclusive Remedy Provision” of workers’ compensation.  That means workers’ compensation is the only remedy for lost wages, permanent disability, and even death.  The problems for many victims of COVID who claim the exposure came from a workplace is the very high legal hurdle of trying to prove the source of the person’s coronavirus infection.

Lawsuits in “tort” claims– as opposed to workers’ compensation– require a breach of wrongdoer’s duty, causation and damages. The remedies available in tort lawsuits involve pain and suffering, a spouse’s loss of consortium, and loss of future wages. These remedies are NOT available in worker’s comp.  Workers’ compensation provides a schedule of benefits much more limited, including 2/3 of pay while a person is healing from coronavirus, and a scheduled payment of benefits if a doctor assigns any permanent percentage of disability or permanent work restrictions.

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