Workers compensation injured employees may sue their employers if Wisconsin dismantles its workers compensation system. Losing the exclusive remedy protection may be an unforeseen consequence to the Wisconsin legislature’s messing with workers’ compensation. In the short run, taking away injured workers’ remedies may benefit employers, another notch on the belt of the one percent. However, back people into a corner sharp enough and there will be blowback.
In Florida a judge has ruled that the state’s workers’ compensation law is unconstitutional because it no longer provides adequate benefits to injured workers. Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cueto handed down the ruling in a case (Padgett v. State of Florida) that could change business model for every Florida employer.
Wisconsin, like Florida, has it written into its constitution that all citizens have a right to a remedy. This means if a person is wronged, such as getting rear ended in a car accident or taken advantage of in a real estate deal, the injured person can use the law and go to court to get made whole. This fairness is built into every civilized state because the alternative, taking matters into our own hands or vigilante justice, would result in endless chaos and the destruction of society.
Employees will get hurt on the job. Employers in each of the United States have not had to worry about getting sued by their employees hurt on the job in over a hundred years, because of workers’ compensation laws. In return for protection against lawsuits, workers’ comp benefits are paid. But its important to remember, workers’ compensation was not designed to just protect employers so they can make more money, the primary reason is to provide a remedy for injured employees, that also allows business to flourish.
“The purpose of a workers’ compensation act is not for it to be used as a weapon in an economic war,” wrote Judge Cueto. “Its purpose is to provide adequate compensation for on-the-job injuries in place of the tort remedy so as to relieve society from the cost of industrial injuries.”
The judge ruled Florida had so diminished workers’ compensation benefits over the years that they were inadequate and effectively blocked an injured worker’s right to a remedy. He tossed out the law as unconstitutional (denying a remedy) and ruled the workers compensation injured employees may sue their employers tort for actual damages.
McCormick Law Office in Milwaukee, Wisconsin represents injured workers with herniated cervical and lumbar discs resulting in neck surgery or back surgery.