Law Offices of Wesley M. Malowitz
Call for a Free Consultation

High court orders payment of comp benefits for injured worker

In its most recent post, this blog analyzed the nature of a third-party claim in Connecticut's workers compensation law. A third-party claim is a civil lawsuit against a party that is not the employer of the injured party but who may have been liable for a portion of the worker's damages.

We did not examine what happens to a third-party recovery or the effect of a third-party recovery on the employee's eligibility for continuing workers' compensation benefits. In a recent decision, the Connecticut Supreme Court reversed a ruling of the state Compensation Review Board that allowed an employer to refuse to pay benefits if the employer succeeded in recovering damages from a third party.

The employee was injured in a work-related automobile accident. He received workers' compensation benefits and sued the party that caused the accident. The jury awarded damages of $100,000, which was allotted 80 percent to the employer and other parties and 20 percent to the employee.

The employee, however, still required medical care for his injuries. His employer refused to pay, arguing that payment of workers' compensation benefits after a third-party recovery would constitute a double recovery.

The argument was accepted by the Compensation Review Board, but the Supreme Court reversed this decision. The Court reasoned that third party claims are intended to obtain damages that can be used in part to reimburse employers for benefit payments. Also, the jury award included pain and suffering, which are not elements of workers' compensation benefits. If the worker were not allowed to keep a portion of the third party recovery, the purpose of the statute would be defeated because few workers would pursue third party claims.

Anyone who has suffered a work-related injury may wish to consult an experienced workers' compensation lawyer for advice on whether to pursue a third-party claim against a party that may be liable for the worker's injuries.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Tell Me What’s Wrong

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

email us for a response
Law Offices of Wesley M. Malowitz

Law Offices of Wesley Malowitz
1055 Summer Street
Second Floor
Stamford, CT 06905

Toll Free: 866-539-5781
Phone: 203-517-0110
Fax: 203-324-8988
Stamford Law Office Map