If My Co-worker Causes My Accident, Can I Sue Him?
Paul and Gino are both employed as security guards through a local protective services firm. One night, Paul was working as a security guard at a car rental parking lot at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. As Paul completed his noon to 6 p.m. shift, he got in his car and was leaving the parking lot (a parking lot owned by his employer and controlled by his employer).
As Paul pulled out of his parking spot, he accidentally backed his car into Gino, who had just started his 6 p.m. to midnight shift and was standing in the lot, verifying a customer’s auto rental paperwork. Gino eventually received workers’ compensation benefits for his injuries. He later sued Paul in an attempt to recover additional benefits.
Gino’s lawsuit was denied, as the court found that sole recovery was limited to his workers’ compensation benefits. The court found that because Gino’s workers’ compensation was granted, he could not sue his fellow employee. The court found that Paul had immunity for this lawsuit.
However, what if their company did not own the parking lot? As we learned in a previous blog post, this could affect whether or not Gino’s claim for workers’ compensation benefits is granted. If the workers’ compensation claim was denied then Gino may be able to pursue his case against Paul.
These can be very tricky cases. They really depend upon the facts of each case, which can vary widely. If you think you deserve more benefits, contact an attorney and don’t settle for less than you deserve.
The son of a Youngstown steelworker who worked himself in steel mills as a young man, Joseph A. Moro is acutely aware of the challenges that working people face and the dire impacts that injuries and impairments can have on them and their families. After he earned his undergraduate degree from Youngstown State University and his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law, Joseph has largely dedicated his practice to handling workers’ compensation and personal injury cases. He is a fluent Spanish speaker who is certified as a Workers’ Compensation Specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) as well as a certified Veterans Affairs Representative. He currently serves as the OAJ Regional Representative for Youngstown-Warren and on the OSBA Workers’ Compensation Specialty Board.