Visitor Question

Can I sue my employer in civil court?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Riverside, CA)

There was an explosion at work. I suffered several life threatening injuries including the crushing of my leg which required a life saving complete amputation. I also endured multiple broken bones, shrapnel wounds all over my neck, face and head. These lacerations caused permanent disfigurement and nerve damage. I also suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The OSHA reports have found Multiple Serious Violations against my employer. I have retained Personal Injury Attorneys but unfortunately they have been trying to gain access to the Cylinder that exploded and the machine that I was in, which had a safety protective shield that failed. Not only have they taken my leg, overall health and my life as I once knew it, but now they are taking my right to due process.

Can I bypass the Workers Compensation System and sue my employer for civil damages? If I have accepted a Workers Comp Claim, can I withdraw it and sue employer in civil court?

Workers Compensation Laws may have exclusive remedy, but I never agreed to it. Every citizen must be held responsible for their actions, particularly if it results in serious adverse life altering injuries or death to another person.

It is unjust for an employer not to be held responsible for injuries inflicted by the employer on their employee. If I wasn’t their employee then I could sue. It’s absolutely ridiculous. Is there anything I can do?

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 Anonymous,

Our policy is not to interfere in the attorney-client relationship. Doing so is legally inappropriate.

Workmans compensation laws were created to protect employers, and to make sure employees who have been injured as a result of a work related injury are fairly compensated. Your attorneys are probably seeking access to the cylinder because workmans compensation laws do not extend to the manufacturers of the products which caused the personal injuries of an employee.

Your attorneys may be considering a product liability claim against the manufacturer of the cylinder. That might be so if it can be determined the cylinder independently or in conjunction with other factors caused the explosion and resultant injuries.

From the facts you present it appears your attorneys are on the right track. They seem to be concentrating their efforts on the cylinder instead of the employer. The only way the employer might be held liable if is she acted in a purposefully malicious manner or criminally negligent manner.

If you have questions about your case the best thing to do is to make an appointment with your attorneys and go into their office to review the case in its entirety.

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: October 15, 2011

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