Typically, a worker who is injured on the job in Boston is precluded from filing a civil personal injury lawsuit. The reason is identified in Chapter 152, of the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.), which stipulates workers’ compensation is a single-recovery system. If a worker is an employee (as opposed to an independent contractor), and the injury occurred in the course and scope of employment, he or she must file a workers’ compensation claim to obtain recovery.
However, there are limited exceptions to this preclusion. One is when injuries result on-the-job due to negligence of a third party. This person is not the employer or a co-worker or a manager. Negligence of contractors, vendors and completely separate third parties may be grounds for third-party litigation.
Because so many people drive in the course and scope of employment and because drunk driving is such a prevalent problem, we see many cases wherein workers are harmed by drunk drivers. These individuals may claim workers’ compensation coverage, and also pursue third-party litigation against the drunk driver and other responsible third parties. Continue reading