New York: Injured Employee’s Action to Recover Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Benefits Against Employer’s Liability Carrier Barred

New York: Injured Employee’s Action to Recover Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Benefits Against Employer’s Liability Carrier Barred

Where an employee sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident while in the course of her employment, but could not proceed in tort against the responsible driver, a co-employee, because of the exclusive remedy provisions of the New York Workers’ Compensation Law, she likewise could not recover supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist (SUM) benefits from her employer’s motor vehicle policy, held a New York appellate court. Indicating that the case was one of first impression, the court initially observed that the Workers’ Compensation Law did not categorically bar an action against an employer’s insurer to recover SUM benefits, but that the critical distinction in the instant case was that the motor vehicle accident involved vehicles operated by coemployees. Plaintiff could receive SUM benefits under the employer’s policy only if she was “legally entitled to recover damages” from the owner or operator of the other vehicle. Plaintiff was not “legally entitled to recover damages” from the owner and operator of the offending vehicle because of the status of the operator as plaintiff’s coemployee. She could not recover SUM benefits.

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 lexis.com.

See Hauber-Malota v. Philadelphia Ins. Cos., 2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5644 (Aug. 8, 2014) [2014 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 5644 (Aug. 8, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 110.05 [110.05]

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

For more information about LexisNexis products and solutions connect with us through our corporate site