Injuries at Work and Intentional Tort Damages

July 3, 2012

Misc. Topics

Under Ohio law, the sole remedy for personal injury while at work is not always worker’s compensation.  As discussed in a previous blog article, sometimes a third party, other than your employer is at fault for your injuries, thus allowing you to circumvent the worker’s compensation system.  The Ohio “Intentional Tort Statute” allows for an employee that is injured at work to sue an employer for intentional tort.  While this is noteworthy because intentional tort damages are generally significantly higher than workmen’s compensation, it is only applicable under limited circumstances.

The Code states in pertinent part:

2745.01 Liability of employer for intentional tort – intent to injure required – exceptions.

(A) In an action brought against an employer by an employee, or by the dependent survivors of a deceased employee, for damages resulting from an intentional tort committed by the employer during the course of employment, the employer shall not be liable unless the plaintiff proves that the employer committed the tortious act with the intent to injure another or with the belief that the injury was substantially certain to occur.

(B) As used in this section, “substantially certain” means that an employer acts with deliberate intent to cause an employee to suffer an injury, a disease, a condition, or death.

(C) Deliberate removal by an employer of an equipment safety guard or deliberate misrepresentation of a toxic or hazardous substance creates a rebuttable presumption that the removal or misrepresentation was committed with intent to injure another if an injury or an occupational disease or condition occurs as a direct result.

Effective Date: 04-07-2005

The above-cited statute was upheld by the Ohio Supreme Court in 2010.  Before that time, similar statutes had been struck down as unconstitutional.

The statute itself makes it completely clear that the injured worker must prove either that their employer had deliberate intent to injure the worker, or in the alternative, that the employer removed a safety guard from equipment.  If the employer did remove a safety guard, they will still have the ability to present evidence in court to contend that it was not intentional.

Statutory provisions such as outlined above require an experienced personal injury attorney to navigate the legal process successfully in order to arrive at a winning settlement or verdict.

The personal injury lawyers at Slater & Zurz LLP  will make certain you are adequately represented in order to insure compensation for injuries and other damages sustained during an accident at work.  Please contact us for a free consultation by calling 1-800-297-9191 or send us a blog message with any questions or concerns you have.

To learn more about accidents at work, please visit slaterzurz.com.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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