Most employers in Massachusetts are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance coverage. In the event an employee is injured, the carrier pays for all claim-related expenses. In exchange, workers are not allowed to file a personal injury lawsuit against their employer. However, when employers do not carry insurance, they forgo the immunity from suit offered by the workers’ compensation laws. A civil suit may be filed against them.
Some of the businesses that fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance are disorganized in multiple ways. An interesting problem arises when the business does not carry worker’s compensation insurance, but nor does it have sufficient resources to pay a personal injury claim. Can a worker then sue one of the partners of the business who may have resources individually? It depends on how the business is organized.
In a recent case, a plaintiff had been injured while working for a granite company. The company was registered in 2007 as a sole proprietorship by Eric Lowe, who listed his personal address as a condo that was owned by his companion of the time, Lefas. After that she did some work for the company, including bookkeeping. She wasn’t compensated for that work on a regular basis, but certain payments were made to her from the company. Continue reading →