New Jersey Court Discusses Third Party Claims for Work Injuries

An employee that suffers an injury at work generally has the right to receive workers’ compensation benefits. In many instances, though, the benefits awarded are insufficient to fully address the harm suffered by the employee. As such, in cases in which a third party contributed to the employee’s harm, he or she may also seek to pursue claims against that person or entity as well. The third party cannot, however, then seek contribution from the employer, as discussed by a New Jersey appellate court in a recent case. If you were injured at work, you may not only be able to recover workers’ compensation benefits, but you may also be able to pursue damages from other parties, and it is advisable to meet with a skillful New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your possible claims.

Factual History

It is reported that the defendant obtained a contract to replace a roof on an elementary school. The defendant then subcontracted some of the work to a construction company that employed the plaintiff. While working on the project, the plaintiff fell off of the roof and suffered significant injuries. The plaintiff sought and received workers’ compensation benefits from his employer. He then filed a complaint against the defendant, alleging that it was negligent in failing to provide a work environment that was reasonably safe.

Allegedly, the defendant company then filed a third party complaint against the employer, arguing it was liable for the plaintiff’s harm. The employer filed a motion for summary judgment, averring that the defendant’s claims were barred by the Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act). The court granted the motion, and the defendant appealed. (more…)