Friday, August 27, 2010

Amazing Drug Injury Lawsuit Case--Employee Loses

Just to see the insanity in action, and have a nice example for marketing your EAP to deal with drug cases,  get this: An employee using Meth was injured on the job. It would have been compensable, but of course, the drug test at the hospital showed he was on Methamphetamine. So, naturally, the company said, "No way" and the Workers' Compensation Insurer said--"no way, buddy, the injury was sustained while you were on Meth."

So, this drug user says, well, the fall was your guys fault. Not mine. I was on Meth, true, but the injury was still because of your negligence. But since the Workers' Comp doesn't cover injuries when someone is using Meth or other drugs, I am suing you! I am suing for thousands of dollars because Workers' Comp doesn't cover this sort of situation anyway! Okay, so I was high as a kite. But, it was your fault I got injured. Let's go to court.

Off to court they went.

How much it cost to defend this lunacy is anyone's guess. I would love to know! However, the court said the case of the injury was in fact "the jurisdiction of the Workers' Compensation plan", the only issue was, drug-related injuries aren't covered. But the WC still protects the employer from lawsuits.

So, it is not that the WC system does not have jurisdiction. It does. It is just that WC won't cover it, even though the injury is the employer's fault. Therefore there is no remedy and you can't sue the employer becuase Workers' Compensatin protects the employer against lawsuits!

The Meth user is stuck with the medical bill. Amazing case.

Could the EAP have helped? You make the call! If this employee was referred to the EAP, the EAP could have played a role in helping this employee get treatment and talked common sense into him. That may have prevented the umteen thousand dollar legal bill to defend this case.