A Federal appeals court panel refused to allow Home Depot to defend itself against a Texas workers compensation claim in federal court.
A 55-year-old Texas woman filed suit in state court alleging that Home Depot was negligent during her employment with the company. The woman stated that she suffered neck and back injuries while operating a lumber cart in a Home Depot store that was cluttered with plywood. The lumber cart collapsed, causing her to be pinned between the lumber cart and a pickup truck.
The woman filed the lawsuit in Texas state court, but Home Depot fought to move the case to federal court and was denied. The lower court had held that even though Home Depot was a non-subscriber to the Texas state workers compensation system, it was still covered through a provision of state workers’ compensation law that limited the number of common law defenses a company can raise in defending itself against a workers compensation claim.
Experts say that this decision was favorable to the former employee because state courts are usually more sympathetic to employee interests in workers’ compensation cases than federal courts are.
Our Attorneys Explain Workers Compensation and Nonsubscribers
Workers’ compensation is an insurance system that pays medical bills and some lost wages of employees injured on the job. In Texas, it is not mandatory for employers to have workers’ compensation insurance. Employers who do not have workers’ compensation coverage are known as nonsubscribers. Home Depot is a nonsubscriber.
In nonsubscriber cases, an injured employee has the right to sue their employer in the event of a workplace injury. If proven that your employer was at least one percent at fault, the law states that the company can be held completely responsible for your injuries.
If you have been injured on the job and have questions or concerns about nonsubscriber workers’ compensation claims, contact our attorney today at (512) 474-8346 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.
Did You Know: Texas used to be the only state in the U.S. that allowed a company to opt-out of its workers compensation system. This year, Oklahoma became the second state to adopt the system.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Workers’ Compensation Attorney