Employer not liable for worker’s injury caused by co-workers — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Employer not liable for worker’s injury caused by co-workers

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In most circumstances, employers aren’t going to be held directly responsible if an employee suffers a physical injury because of something a fellow employee did. Instead, such cases are handled through the workers’ compensation system.

Recent case:
José Pereira worked as a cemetery caretaker. He claimed co-workers intentionally tripped him, causing injury. He sued his employer directly, alleging that, because the co-workers had intentionally hurt him, the company was liable.

The court disagreed, ruling that, while Pereira might be eligible for workers’ compensation because his injuries happened at work, the cemetery itself wasn’t liable. The court noted that employers are liable for intentional harm only if they set it in motion.

The workers’ compensation system is designed to compensate employees for work injuries, regardless of fault or cause. (Pereira v. St. Joseph’s Cemetery, No. 1479/07, Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division, 2008)

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