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Workers' Compensation

New York: Significant Injury to Hand Does Not Constitute, However, “Grave Injury” Under § 11







In New York, a defendant sued in tort by an injured worker may seek contribution and/or indemnification from the employer if, among other things, the worker sustained a “grave injury” as defined by N.Y. Work. Comp. Law § 11. A state appellate court held that a third-party complaint should have been dismissed since the worker, while suffering severe injuries to his hand, did not sustain a total loss of use. While the work lost functionality of his middle, ring, and small fingers, there was evidence that he could pinch his index and middle fingers to his thumb, and plaintiff testified that he was able to use his right hand to, among other things, lift a pen, grasp keys, move the gear shift and operate his vehicle, tie his shoes, button his shirt, use a fork and spoon, dial a telephone, and write to some degree. Under the statute, he had not suffered a “grave injury;” indemnification by and contribution from the employer would not be allowed.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Barclay v. Techno-Design, Inc., 2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1531 (3rd Dep’t, Feb. 19, 2015) [2015 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 1531 (3rd Dep’t, Feb. 19, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 121.03 [121.03]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.









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