A Superior Court jury has awarded an independent contractor $1.6 million for injuries he suffered when he was injured at a Sears warehouse in 2014. According to a ctpost article, a six-member jury found Sears to be responsible for injuries sustained by Kevin Reid. A Sears employee was found to have been operating a forklift improperly when moving a refrigerator; the forklift struck Reid, and the appliance fell on his ankle. He has undergone two surgeries and his ankle is permanently damaged.
In an employee relationship, a company’s workers’ comp insurance serves as an employee’s exclusive remedy for workplace injuries. And if a worker is provided by a staffing firm, then its workers’ compensation coverage precludes the worker from seeking redress from the client organization — a benefit of a co-employment relationship. Independent contractors, however, are not covered by workers’ compensation, and thus are not precluded from suing for damages.