Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Randy Sue Marber granted a $4.9 million award to a Nassau County nurse, Marie Sweeney, for the damages she suffered as a result of a vicious and violent attack upon her by a patient. The court found the defendant, Donte Oakes, liable for his assault on Nurse Sweeney while working as a nurse in the psychiatric ward at Franklin General Hospital. The case – Marie Sweeney v Donte Oakes – (Index number 601010/2011) had been filed on Ms. Sweeney’s behalf by the Schlitt Law Firm.
Under New York’s Workers Compensation laws, employees hurt on the job are generally prevented from suing their employer for compensation for their injuries. In this case, a Brooklyn woman was hurt on the job in Manhattan, yet in investigating the case, we were able to develop a legal theory that made the landlord responsible for her injuries, not her employer. Therefore, we sought compensation from the landlord for her injuries. This week, we settled the case for an amount that made my client very happy.
We received an email inquiry from a woman who slipped and fell on a puddle at work. She wanted to know if she could sue for damages. She also wanted to know if she should file for New York’s Workers’ Compensation or if she should use her private insurance to pay for medical bills. I thought the answers to her questions might prove helpful to our readers.
I received a question from a woman that I thought my interest my readers:
I slipped and fell at work. The floor was wet and there was no wet floor sign. The area was open to the customers to walk through. So it’s possible anyone else could have fallen. The point is I did fracture my left elbow, left wrist and a carpal bone. My boyfriend says I should sue; I’m just confused about going about anything. As of right now, workers comp is pending and medical treatment has been forwarded to the company. I’m still in a lot of pain and now just stressed from missing work, any advice?
Late in a February evening in 2010, a U.S. Postal Employee working at a Long Island facility drove her forklift into the back of a tractor trailer to unload pallets of mail. As she did so, the driver pulled the truck away, sending her and the forklift tumbling to the ground and leaving the woman with a soft-tissue knee injury. The woman retained me as her lawyer and I was able to negotiate a $25,000 settlement that maximizes the money the woman will receive and avoids the wait for a trial.
All electricians work with the knowledge that they must protect themselves from electrocution. I heard the other day from an electrician whose boss electrocuted him on the job and he wanted to know if he could sue his boss for gross negligence. I explain the current interpretation of the gross negligence exception and then address why I think that interpretation is to restrictive and open to a legal challenge.
I received an inquiry today from a person injured while stocking store shelves on the job. She had climbed up a ladder and the locking mechanism on the ladder failed so she fell and injured her back. She wanted to know if she could sue for pain and suffering.
In New York, Workers’ Compensation covers all on-the-job injuries, though it also prevents an employee from suing an employer for an on-the-job injury. There is an exception that allows an injured person to seek compensation when injured on a ladder or scaffold. However, that exception only applies when performing the construction, demolition or repair of a building or structure. Under those circumstances, the employee can hold the owner of the building or the general contractor of the project responsible even if the owner or general contractor did not act negligently. In this woman’s case, she qualifies for Workers’ Compensation, but cannot seek additional compensation.
I do not specialize in Workers’ Compensation cases, but I need to know the Workers’ Compensation law to help my clients who suffer an injury on the job through the negligence or recklessness of someone other than their employer. I… Read More ›
Here is a question I recently received about a slip and fall at work that I thought might interest readers:
My 17 year old daughter works for McDonalds and she slipped and fell on her back on a piece of ice that a co-worker threw on the floor horse-playing around. She is very hurt, do I have a claim?
I am sorry to hear about your daughter’s injury. You do not say where you live or where your daughter works. I practice law in New York so I will answer based on the laws of New York. The short answer is that although your daughter qualifies for New York Worker’s Compensation benefits, she cannot sue her employer for damages.
In civil cases, the statute of limitations sets the deadline by which a person must start a lawsuit. The statute of limitations sets forth in law how long one has to initiate legal proceedings for another person or party’s wrongful conduct. For civil lawsuits such as medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and fall and personal injury cases, the statute of limitations determines how long one has to file a summons and complaint, which formally starts a lawsuit. Once the time specified in the statute of limitations expires, a person can no longer file a lawsuit on the matter unless granted an exemption.
There is no universal statute of limitations. The time period to bring a legal action will vary based on the type of case, the defendant and the court in which a case is brought. The statute of limitations varies significantly for cases against municipalities (such as the City of New York) and municipal agencies (such as the Metropolitan Transportation Agency – MTA). They also vary for cases brought by or on behalf of a minor.