Workers' Compensation

United States: Michigan Federal Court Reiterates that RICO May Not Be Used for Bad Faith Claims

Citing two earlier precedents, a federal district court sitting in Michigan has once again ruled, in pertinent part, that racketeering activity leading to a loss or diminution of benefits that a plaintiff expects to receive under a state workers compensation system does not constitute an injury to “business or property” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) Act. Accordingly, where an injured worker alleged a conspiracy, pursuant to which the workers’ compensation insurance provider hired doctors to write fraudulent reports for the purpose of denying his workers’ compensation benefits, the worker stated no cause of action. The worker sought to distinguish earlier decisions—Jackson v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services, 731 F.3d 556, 563–64 (6th Cir. 2013) (en banc), and Brown v. Cassens Transport Co., 546 F.3d 347, 354 (6th Cir. 2008)—on the grounds that in his own case, he alleged tortious activity by “independent medical examiners.” The district court held that the worker’s argument was meritless.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.

See Gucwa v. Lawley, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8698 E.D. Mich., Jan. 23, 2017)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 100.03.

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