Commission holds exclusive remedy over worker's bad-faith claim
Case name: Desmond v. Yale-New Haven Hospital, Inc, et al., No. AC 33072 (Conn. App. Ct. 09/11/12).
Ruling: The Connecticut Appellate Court dismissed a worker's suit against a hospital for bad-faith processing of her workers' compensation claim, holding that the workers' compensation commission held the exclusive remedy for her claim.
What it means: In Connecticut, a worker cannot sue her employer for bad-faith processing of a workers' compensation claim.
Summary: A worker for a hospital slipped on a spill and fell. She was diagnosed with bilateral, acute post-traumatic carpal tunnel injuries. Her physicians advised her that without treatment she would be unable to use her hands. She filed a workers' compensation claim, and the hospital accepted the claim. Later, the worker sued the hospital, alleging that it made various filings with the workers' compensation commission in a bad faith and fraudulent attempt to delay treatment. The worker claimed that the hospitals' bad faith caused her condition to worsen because she did not receive necessary treatment. The Connecticut Appellate Court dismissed the suit, finding that the commission held the exclusive remedy over the worker's claim.
The court stated that Connecticut does not recognize a cause of action for bad-faith processing of a workers' compensation claim. The court said it was clear that the worker's claimed injuries, allegedly caused by the hospital's bad-faith delays in medical treatment, arose out of and in the course of the workers' compensation claims process.
The court rejected the worker's argument that the hospital's conduct was so egregious to warrant an exception from the general rule of exclusivity. The court explained that the worker's allegations of bad-faith processing of her claim were routinely made in workers' compensation cases.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
December 3, 2012
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