A Texas appellate court recently upheld most of a $780,000 jury verdict against a Texas workers comp nonsubscriber. A nonsubscriber means a company in Texas that does not carry workers’ comp insurance.
The worker was employed by Katy Spring & Manufacturing Inc. in Katy, Texas, which does not purchase workers’ comp insurance. In October 2010, the worker bent down to open a bundle of large-gauge wire used to make springs, and the wire hit him in the chest.
Court documents show Katy Spring’s training program advised workers to “run away” in cases where the wire escaped from its reel.
The worker was taken to an urgent care center where he was diagnosed with a neck sprain, bruised chest, and cervical radiculopathy. He received a number of treatments and also had spinal surgery in 2013.
The worker sued Katy Spring for negligence in his work accident. A jury awarded him $779,627.
Katy Spring appealed the decision, arguing that the worker was the sole cause of his injuries, the county court excluded evidence of the worker’s prior illegal drug use, and that the evidence failed to show Katy Spring was negligent in the accident.
The Texas Court of Appeals ruled to uphold the decision unanimously earlier this month.
How Are Nonsubscriber Workers’ Comp Claims Different?
In nonsubscriber workers’ compensation cases, you have the right to sue your employer for damages after an on-the-job injury. The law only requires you to prove that your employer was 1 percent at fault in order for them to be held completely liable for your injuries.
Sometimes, a third party – someone other than the employer – is responsible for a worker’s injuries. For example, a negligent subcontractor, a dangerous property condition or defective equipment may have contributed to the injury. Under the law, the injured employee can file a personal injury claim against the third party in addition to a claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
Not every attorney knows how to handle a nonsubscriber workers’ compensation claim. At The Law Offices of Aaron Allison, our Austin workers’ compensation lawyer has the experience and resources necessary to handle your case. To schedule a free initial consultation with our workers’ comp attorney, contact us online.
The Law Offices of Aaron Allison – Austin Workers’ Comp Attorney