The Intersection of Workers’ Compensation Immunity and Contractual Indemnity
The workers’ compensation statute in many states provides that the workers’ compensation benefits received by an injured employee is the employee’s exclusive remedy. The benefits are paid based on a no-fault basis and the injured employee is barred from bringing a lawsuit against his or her employer. The degree in which the exclusive remedy provision applies varies in different jurisdictions. An ABA 50-State Survey on the exclusive remedy provisions can be found by clicking HERE.
In many construction contracts, a contractor indemnifies an owner for personal injury and property damage caused by the contractor’s negligence.
Here is the fact scenario: A contractor’s employee gets injured on a jobsite. The employee receives workers’ compensation benefits but has incurred additional damages beyond those benefits. The contractor employee cannot bring a lawsuit against the his employer based on the workers’ compensation exclusive remedy provision, but the employee may bring a lawsuit against the owner for the personal injury damages. Owner