Tuesday, May 05, 2015

An employee injured on the job may sue for injuries he or she subsequently suffered while being transported to a hospital for treatment for his or her job related injuries



An employee injured on the job may sue for injuries he or she subsequently suffered while being  transported to a hospital for treatment for his or her job related injuries
2015 NY Slip Op 03506, Appellate Division, Second Department

A correction officer [Officer] sustained an injury in the course of his employment at a New York City corrections facility.  While Officer was being transported in a New York City Fire Department ambulance to a local hospital, the ambulance was involved in a motor vehicle accident. 

Officer applied for workers' compensation benefits for the injuries he sustained in the prison. In addition, Officer filed a lawsuit against, among others, the City of New York, the New York City Fire Department and the ambulance driver [Defendants] seeking damages for the injuries he allegedly sustained as a result of the motor vehicle accident that  occurred while he was being transported to the hospital.

Supreme Court denied Defendants’ motions to {1] amend its answer “to add an affirmative defense based on the exclusivity of the Workers' Compensation Law,” and [2] for summary judgment “dismissing the complaint insofar as asserted against them.” 

Defendants appealed but the Appellate Division sustained the Supreme Court’s ruling.

While "In general, workers compensation benefits are the exclusive remedy of an employee against an employer for any damages sustained from injury or death arising out of and in the course of employment," the Appellate Division said that even if a plaintiff received workers' compensation benefits, he or she is not precluded from commencing a separate action based on subsequent negligent conduct to recover damages for injuries causally related to the initial on-the-job injury, "but which did not arise out of or in the course of the plaintiff's employment.”

The Appellate Division found that such was the case in this action, explaining that notwithstanding Officer’s filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits for the injuries he sustained “on the job,” he was not precluded from commencing a separate action to recover for damages he allegedly suffered that were “caused by separate injuries that occurred outside the scope of his employment” – i.e., in the course of his being transported to a hospital by ambulance. 

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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