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.