Recently, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Georgia workers’ compensation and personal injury case discussing whether the defendant employer could be held liable for failing to provide medical care to the injured employee-plaintiff after he was injured on the job. Ultimately, the court concluded that the “sole remedy” provision of the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act precluded the plaintiff’s claim.
According to the court’s opinion, the plaintiff was injured in a Georgia car accident while he was working for the defendant. The exact details of the crash are not particularly crucial to the case. However, after the accident, the plaintiff claims that his employer denied him access to medical care and insurance, which delayed his treatment. The plaintiff claimed this delay aggravated his injuries, eventually resulting in the plaintiff suffering several strokes. The plaintiff filed a personal injury case against his employer.
The employer argued that the sole-remedy provision to the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Act precluded the plaintiff’s ability to bring the claim. The sole-remedy provision states that “the rights and the remedies granted to an employee by this chapter shall exclude . . . all other rights and remedies . . . and all other civil liabilities whatsoever at common law or otherwise, on account of such injury, loss of service, or death.” Essentially, the sole remedy provision prevents an employee from pursuing a personal injury case against an employer if they can also bring a workers’ compensation claim.