Visitor Question

Can I sue my boss for knowingly buying a cheap product that caused injury?

Submitted By: Sue (USA)

I received a head injury while at work. I sat in a broken chair that was removed from a room by the custodian and placed in another centrally located room. I did not realize the chair was broken and sat in it, resulting in a concussion and ongoing migraine issues.

Workman’s comp has paid all bills so far. My question is: can I sue my employer for willfully purchasing cheap chairs and knowing when they break, they have custodians weld them together and re-circulate them in the building?

I am not sure if the broken chair that I sat in was already welded together and re-circulated in the office, or if it was a first time break, and was unfortunately put in another area where employees sit/use the room. What can I do about this? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Sue,

To be able to circumvent workers’ compensation laws you would have to prove your employer was “grossly negligent,” or displayed a “wonton disregard” for your safety. From the facts you present, there doesn’t appear to be either of these factors.

As a result, you are bound by your state’s workers’ compensation statutes. As such, you are only entitled to payment of your medical and chiropractic bills, your out-of pocket-expenses (for medications, costs of transportation to and from treatment, etc.), and about two-thirds of your lost wages.

You have a right under workers’ comp statutes to choose one or more of the doctors listed on the insurance company’s list of approved doctors.

Before returning to work, be sure your injuries have been fully treated, and you are well enough to return to your normal job duties. If you aren’t, but must get back to work because you need the money, ask your employer to assign you to duties commensurate with your degree of recovery.

While your employer doesn’t have a legal duty to do so, he or she should be able to accomodate you until such time as you can fully perform your former job.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: August 10, 2014

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