Employee Claims Against Employer Allowed to Proceed

April 4, 2015

Employee claims against employer and whether the exclusive remedy provision of the workers compensation statute barred them is the issue the New Hampshire federal court recently addressed in a case involving Wal-Mart.

On April 2, 2015 Judge McAuliffe issued a written decision denying the Employer’s (Wal-Mart) Motion to Dismiss some of a plaintiff’s employment related claims.  The Order allows the employee to proceed.

The plaintiff asserted that she was injured when a co-employee accessed and shared her confidential medical information with other employees. The co-employee was able to access this information because the plaintiff, in addition to being an employee, was also a pharmacy customer at the store. The Employer asked the Court to dismiss plaintiff’s claim asserting that the Worker’s Compensation Statute provides the exclusive remedy to workers injured at work. The Court disagreed that the statute acted as a bar finding, instead, that the plaintiff’s injuries and claims arose out of her status as a customer, and not her status as an employee, and as such, the workers compensation statute does not apply.

This is an important case identifying the distinctions between the types of claims employees may bring, if any, against their employers and co-empoyees. For more information, please see: McPadden v. Wal-Mart Stores East, L.P., Dkt. No. 14-cv-475-SM (April 2, 2015)

 

 

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