Suit barred despite employer's failure to provide medical care
Garcia v. AZZ Inc., No. 01-11-00668-CV (Tex. Ct. App. 02/23/12).
Ruling: The Texas Court of Appeals held that a worker's claims were barred by the exclusive remedy provision.
What it means: In Texas, the exclusive remedy provision applies and bars claims of negligence even in cases where the employer fails to provide a worker with notice of the availability of workers' compensation benefits.
Summary: A worker claimed that he sustained injuries to his back and a burn within a period of six weeks. He said he repeatedly asked his supervisors if he could be seen by a doctor but was "told to keep working or be fired." He said he was never provided access to a doctor or told how to see one. He stopped working for the employer and sued. The employer denied the allegations and asserted that the claims were barred by the exclusive remedy provision. The Texas Court of Appeals held that the suit was barred.
The court said that the evidence established that the employer was the worker's employer within the meaning of workers' compensation. Also, the employer was covered by a workers' compensation insurance policy.
The court explained that the exclusive remedy provision bars negligence claims despite an employer's failure to provide a worker with notice of workers' compensation coverage. Here, even if the employer failed to provide the worker with medical care, access to a doctor, and information about how to gain access to a doctor, the employer was not precluded from asserting the exclusive remedy defense.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
April 9, 2012
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